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A Message from Sheriff Toulon about the Mass Shooting in Santa Clarita, CA

A Message from Sheriff Toulon about the Mass Shooting

Today at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA:

Once again, on behalf of everyone at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, I want to send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all of the children, families, school personnel and our fellow colleagues in law enforcement in the wake of yet another school shooting.

I have offered my condolences so often in the past, but today, I would like to offer some thoughts on preventing these tragedies. First, I encourage everyone to read “PROTECTING AMERICA’S SCHOOLS: A U.S. SECRET SERVICE ANALYSIS OF TARGETED SCHOOL VIOLENCE.”

There is no set profile of a mass shooter, and therefore prevention is the clearest way to stop these tragic shootings. How can we prevent this type of violence? School officials should be urged to utilize an evidenced-based THREAT ASSESSMENT and INTERVENTION tool to handle student disciplinary matters. School districts may also want to consider programs like Say Something offered through Sandy Hook Promise. Say Something teaches children and school personnel to be alert to troubling behaviors, to be “upstanders” and to talk to a trusted adult when they see something that concerns them. This simple and powerful methodology discourages bullying, and encourages people to seek help for emotional issues before they escalate. Deputy Sheriffs and Correction Officers are trained to teach Say Something and it is offered to all schools at no cost to the districts.

Below is a synopsis of the findings in the Secret Service’s report. I ask that you consider these commonalities, and then teach your kids to say something if they notice a peer in distress.

· There is no profile of a student attacker, nor is there a profile for the type of school that has been targeted

· Attackers usually had multiple motives, the most common involving a grievance with classmates

· Most attackers used firearms, and firearms were most often acquired from the home

· Most attackers had experienced psychological, behavioral, or developmental symptoms

· Half of the attackers had interests in violent topics

· All attackers experienced social stressors involving their relationships with peers and/or romantic partners

· Nearly every attacker experienced negative home life factors

· Most attackers were victims of bullying, which was often observed by others

· Most attackers had a history of school disciplinary actions, and many had prior contact with law enforcement


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