Doctor shares how this assessment can help recognize someone planning mass violence

Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Houston ISD to provide update on end-of-the-year security
'Behavioral threat assessments' have been used to recognize someone planning mass violence, but usually, the signs are missed. Now, HISD is launching this project to prevent future acts of violence.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In light of the mass school shooting in Uvalde, the Houston ISD Police Department is partnering with HPD and community ministers to provide extra security for students and teachers in and around campuses during the last days of the school year.

The district is set to hold a press conference Wednesday at 10 a.m. to discuss Project Safe Start 2022.

It's been more than 25 years since the U.S. Secret Service developed a process for identifying people who may be planning violence on a mass level. Experts said this assessment is still the best way to prevent tragedies like the one at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

SEE ALSO: What we know about 21 Texas school shooting victims; teacher's widower dies of heart attack

For nearly 2 decades behavioral threat assessments have been used to recognize someone who may be planning mass violence. Often times, the signs are missed.

ABC13 spoke with Dr. Marisa Randazzo, who helped the secret service and the department of education tailor the training specifically for schools.

Randazzo said that preventing the next school shooting will take an act by Congress initiating red flag laws and mandatory threat assessment training.

SEE RELATED STORY: Day 3 of NRA convention in Houston wraps up the weekend as protestors demand change

"Is this person on a pathway to violence? The reason we look at that is because when we've done research on school shootings and other acts of targeted violence, we've seen this really consistent pathway. People who carry out school shootings, workplace shootings, attacks on public officials, they all follow the same behavioral progression," said Randazzo.

Research shows these unifications can help educators and law enforcement recognize people who need help.

The Texas School Safety Center provides free training for school personnel, law enforcement and mental health professionals. Parents can ask their district leaders if they participate.

SEE RELATED STORY: Officials: Teacher closed propped-open door before Uvalde school shooting but it was not locked

For updates on this story, follow Brhe Berry on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.