School shootings are the subject of debate in the media and in communities across the United States, and there is much discussion about prevention and the root causes of such attacks. But what does research say about these tragic events and their perpetrators? Do all shooters fit a specific profile? And what meaningful steps can schools and communities take to reduce the likelihood of these events?
In the interest of better informing educators, reporters, and the public, WestEd’s Justice and Prevention Research Center partnered with Peter Langman, a national expert on school shooters, to publish “Five Misconceptions About School Shootings“, a brief look at common misconceptions about school shootings and their perpetrators.
The authors conclude that schools and communities are better served when presented with a balanced perspective informed by the wealth of available research about perpetrators, their varying motivations, and pre-attack behaviors.