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Weapons and violence – advice from ESSN


A joint effort from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics helps show the concerning figures regarding crimes within schools and colleges – particularly around weapons and violence. The report indicates that 65% of public schools recorded that one or more violent incidents had taken place on the school premises, estimating to 757,000 crimes nationwide. This, when broken down further, equates to 15 crimes per 1000 students enrolled in 2013-2014.

We’ve partnered with Educator’s School Safety Network, to develop our weapons and violence keyword library. As part of our flagship product, Impero Education Pro, our online safety features include keyword detection, where key terms are detected when typed anywhere on the network, including URLs, websites or even Word documents.

more stats

  • 6% of students said they’ve been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property.
  • 1,500 students reported having a firearm possession at school – that’s 3 per 100,000 students.
  • The percentage of students in grades 9-12 reported carrying a weapon on school property decreased from 12% in 1993 to 4% in 2015.

who are ESSN?

ESSN is comprised of consultants with background and expertise in areas of education, technology, emergency response and criminal justice. ESSN pride themselves on violence prevention measures providing safety planning for schools and districts before a crisis occurs. Their main mission is to protect the life and safety of students, educators and staff.

how can ESSN help?

For any terms related to weapons or violence captured in Impero Education Pro, ESSN have put together a number of advice and tips.

when to involve law enforcement

For incidents concerning weapons and violence, unlike normal student discipline, it’s important to know when law enforcement should be involved. In order to answer this, you must ask yourself these five questions:

  1. How serious was the detected language?
  2. What was the context of detected language?
  3. What was the timeliness of the language used?
  4. Have you had any past concerns about the student?
  5. What is currently happening in the school?

threat assessment and management

It’s important that schools and districts, if and when these incidents occur, have processes in place. ESSN recommend that schools develop systems for threat assessment and management. One of the most useful tools is having a dedicated threat assessment team. This team will help to detect who is at risk, decide what support and intervention is necessary to support the student, to keep them in school safely, while also protecting other stakeholders present.


For more advice regarding weapons and violence, or other dangers, such as suicide and bullying and trolling, download our online safety handbook.

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