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Risk factors for school violence

The Federal Bureau of Investigation compiled this list of risk factors in its two-year study of school shootings, which was completed in September 2000:

Questions for educators to ask about a troubled child

 • What is the culture of the school and how is it affecting the child?

 • Does he or she have problems expressing anger?

 • Does he or she show an inordinate fascination with violent movies, books and music?

 • Has he talked or written about committing violent acts?

Other traits listed

 • Poor coping skills

 • Access to weapons

 • Signs of depression

 • Drug and alcohol abuse

 • Alienation

 • Narcissism

 • Inappropriate humor

 • No limits to, or monitoring of, television and Internet use

The report also classifies levels and types of threats. Direct threats are clear: "I am going to place a bomb in the school's gym." Medium-level threats indicate possible place and time; high-level threats indicate practice with a weapon or surveillance of a victim.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation of 18 school shooting cases

Student kills 2 classmates, wounds 13 near San Diego
March 5, 2001

Federal Bureau of Investigation

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