Monday, April 02, 2012

Campus and School Violence Continues: Crisis Management Readiness Needs Improvement Nationwide

As tragic headlines continue to punctuate a culture of violence affecting schools and campuses nationwide, parents, faculty, administrators and staff must answer the questions: "Are we doing all we can to foresee and prevent a crisis? Are we ready if our school does experience a crisis?"

Seven Murdered at Oikos University: An Oakland, California Christian Campus

On Monday of Holy Week, April 2, 2012, seven people were shot to death and three wounded at Oikos University, a Christian college in Oakland, California. The tragedy emerges as one of the deadliest attacks on a campus in California history.

Three Students Murdered at Chardon High School in Ohio

On Monday, February 27, 2012 three students were killed and several wounded at Chardon High School in Ohio. Published reports stated the student killer tweeted he would bring a gun to school and no one took it seriously.

Nebraska Vice Principal Murdered at School

On January 5, 2011 a 17-year-old student killed the assistant principal, wounded the principal and committed suicide at Millard South High School in Omaha, Nebraska. In a facebook rambling filled with expletives he warned people would hear about the "evil" he did.

Ohio State University Murder by Terminated Janitor

On March 9, 2010, Nathaniel Brown, an Ohio State University janitor fatally shot a supervisor and injured another after being told he was fired. Published reports indicated a failed background check lacking the diligence to notice the killer's lie about his past criminal record on the university's job application.

Three Faculty Members Shot Dead at University of Alabama-Huntsville

On Friday, February 12, 2010 three faculty members were shot dead and three hurt when shots were fired at a University of Alabama-Huntsville faculty meeting.

Suspect Amy Bishop was taken into custody by police shortly after the shootings and has been charged with capital murder and attempted murder.

Since the shootings, violent incidents have surfaced surrounding the suspect that deserves comprehensive investigations including an attempted mail bombing in 1993. Although Bishop and her husband were questioned, they were not charged. Dr. Paul Rosenberg received the bomb after Bishop quit her job at Children's Hospital in Boston following her poor review by Rosenberg.

Bishop also killed her brother in 1986 by gunshot, but authorities ruled it accidental.

Published reports indicated the shootings at the University of Alabama-Huntsville took place after tenure was denied to Bishop and that administration received complaints by students on her behavior on numerous occasions.

As details emerge, the issue of failing to respond to warning signs and red flags as well as comprehensive background checks of employees in positions of trust will be in need of assessment.

Manhattanville College Student Murdered on Campus

On Monday, February 22, 2010 Marissa Pagli, an 18 year-old Manhattanville student was found strangled to death in faculty housing on the campus in Purchase, New York. The police ruled the incident a homicide.

Two days later, her mother, Stacey Pagli, 37, was arrested and charged with the murder of her daughter according to Harrison police Captain Anthony Marraccini.

A published television report stated that students were notified via text message of the incident but it never mentioned a murder or a crime.

Two students shot at Colorado Middle School

On February 23, 2010 a seventh and eighth grader were shot at Deer Creek Middle School in Colorado as they were leaving school for the day. The school is just a few miles from Columbine High School which experienced one of the most tragic school violence tragedies in American history.

A gunman wielding a high powered rifle was tackled and subdued by school staff until deputies arrived.

David Benke, a math teacher at the school who first tackled the shooter, cited having previous drills with students at the school.

Virginia Tech Keeps Federal Education Report on Officials Actions Secret

On February 23,2010 a published report documented the continuous crisis management failures surrounding the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Excerpt reprinted from

Va. Tech won't release early report on actions in massacre

February 23, 2010


Virginia Tech is keeping secret a report by federal education officials on its officials' actions during the April 16, 2007, massacre.

The university is declining to release the U.S. Department of Education's preliminary findings on its compliance with federal law on campus security that governs notification of threats to students and requires effective emergency plans.

… The university received the federal report at the start of the month. The Education Department issues such initial reports of findings when officials believe they have found at least one violation and some type of follow-up action or communication is required.

"This continues Virginia Tech's long history of a closed culture highly resistant to changes needed to protect their campus," said S. Daniel Carter, director of public policy at Security on Campus, a nonprofit founded by the parents of Lehigh University student and murder victim Jeanne Clery.

"Instead of being transparent about what happened and facing up to it, they're continuing to obfuscate and delay as if they've failed to learn the lessons of April 16 that nearly the entire rest of the higher education community has."

The federal law on campus security is named for Clery, who was raped and killed in her residence-hall room in 1986.

The U.S. Department of Education has under advisement a Freedom of Information Act request from Carter for a copy if its findings.

Carter said Tech is one of only two universities to have been subject to a full Department of Education review for problems with compliance with campus security law.

In 1997, the Education Department found that Tech did not accurately disclose sexual assaults on campus.

As incidents of school and campus violence tragically continue, the principles of crisis management

  • Mitigation and Prevention
  • Preparedness
  • Response
  • Recovery
must be the focus of intensified training, development and implementation.


Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide For Schools And Communities Click here to visit site
US Attorney orders review of 1993 mailbombing case tied to Amy Bishop Click here to visit site
Manhattanville Murder - CBS Video Clip Click here to visit site
Teacher tackles gunman after school shootings Click here to visit site
Virginia Tech Blogs Click here to visit site

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