NYSIR Hosts Statewide Symposium on School Violence
Thursday, August 1, 2019
TARRYTOWN, NY – More than 100 educators and public-school officials from around New York listened to experts on preventing school violence at a special July 31 symposium hosted by NYSIR.
The conference, “Pathway to the Pillars: Plotting Your District’s Course in School Violence Prevention,” featured presentations by professionals with expertise in the psychology of school shooters, trauma intervention, gang violence, and school safety and security.
Among the presenters was psychologist Peter Langman, an internationally recognized expert on school violence and author of “Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters,” who told teachers and administrators that, when it comes to identifying potential perpetrators, there is “no checklist I can give you. There is no profile, but there are patterns.” School officials, he said, need to sharpen their focus on conducting detailed and ongoing threat assessments.
The daylong symposium also included presentations by Elissa Brown, a professor of psychology and an expert in trauma prevention and therapy, and Michele Gay, executive director of an organization called Safe and Sound Schools and the mother of a Sandy Hook school shooting victim.
In his opening comments, NYSIR President Eric Stark, assistant superintendent for business at Carmel Central School District, emphasized to attendees that “It’s not OK to continue to say, ‘This won’t happen in my district.’” The symposium, he noted, was part of NYSIR’s in-depth school risk management program.