Creating a new bureaucracy out of a tragedy is not the answer. School violence prevention is not an issue that can be addressed by any single federal, state or local agency. It is not strictly a law enforcement problem to be hammered out on the streets and enforced in a court of law. And it is not merely a school problem that should be left solely to the discretion of educators. It is a societal dilemma whose solution, both in the short- and long-term, requires input from many different stakeholders with an extensive range of perspectives and disciplines – people who bring diversity to the task. A diversity of ideas. Of cultures. Of experiences. People who share the heartfelt need to stop targeted violence in our schools.
Experts from Hillard Heintze
We will bring to the table the nation’s best threat assessment specialists and security experts – seasoned professionals with decades of first-hand experience in evaluating individuals who are on a path to violence. This skillset is unique – and one not often found among the ranks of police officers or law enforcement professionals.
Stakeholders from Other Disciplines
We will also invite additional professionals, specialists and contributors to serve on this integrated task force:
- Educators and School Administrators – From board members to principals, these contributors will help ensure that the best practices in targeted violence prevention that we bring to bear are continually adapting to accommodate many types of schools and a wide range of academic environments.
- Mental Health Professionals – From psychologists and psychiatrists to clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses, marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors, these experts must also be full participants in this initiative, providing insights on the critical intersection of mental health, drugs and medication, violence, addiction, and both adolescent and early childhood behaviors.
- Religious Leaders and Members of the Clergy – From local priests, rabbis and religious elders to faith-based leaders with a national following, these keepers of the many sacred laws and traditions to which Americans adhere will often provide vital guidance and perspectives on key issues central to preventing school violence and recovering from it.
- Activists – From community activists to advocates for one side or another of complex issues such as gun control, mental health and privacy, these voices for change will be vibrant contributors to our operations, policies and on-the-ground practices.
- Business Champions and Corporate Sponsors – From individual executives who embrace our mission as a personal calling to directors of corporate responsibility programs that sponsor and support our center’s activities, business champions in many different forms will be vital to the success of our not-for-profit team.
- Legislators, Policy Architects and Public Sector Organizations – From federal agencies such as the Department of Education to a long list of state and local entities, public sector organizations – as well as individuals drafting related policy or legislating our nation’s laws – will play a central role in bringing public resources to our mission.
- Parents and Families – Perhaps the most important participants in this initiative will be the parents and families of those approaching the threshold to violence. These individuals are literally on the frontline of the struggle to identify, assess and manage subjects exhibiting behaviors of concern and a growing propensity for violence.
Today, as Act #6, I resolve to establish a multidisciplinary approach in identifying and assembling the finest collection of minds and expertise available. We pledge to attract the best and the brightest to the table. Every single one of us has a critical stake in this: protecting our nation’s children.