According to a 2021 report released by the U.S. Secret Service, in nearly 94% of averted cases of school violence analyzed, the plotters shared their intentions ahead of time.
Out of the 67 plots reviewed in the analysis, 75% of plots were detected solely because the plotters communicated their attempts ahead of time. And of those plots, 69% of the communications were discovered by the plotters’ friends, classmates, or other peers.
This data does not come as a surprise. A 2018 survey from The Police Foundation found that out of 41 adverted incidents of school violence, students discovered the suspicious behavior first – more than half the time.
According to the U.S Secret Service analysis, two-thirds of those who reported the plots were a classmate, friend, or peer. The importance of encouraging a community-based approach to campus safety cannot be understated, but according to the analysis, only 34% of the schools reviewed had some type of reporting system. It can also be challenging to get students and staff to report suspicious behavior or incidents if they fear it may lead to retaliation or being ostracized.
A software solution designed to make reporting safe, easy, and – most importantly – anonymous helps increase trust and encourages staff and students to take a more active role in campus safety.