Dixon High School Shooting Latest School Violence Incident
Do you know how many incidents of school violence have occurred this year? It has become increasingly and disturbingly difficult to keep count.
While there are many data sources with varying measurement parameters, there has been, on average, one school shooting every week this year.
In this latest incident at Dixon High School in Illinois, authorities say the quick-action of a heroic school resource officer – Officer Mark Dallas – thwarted a school shooting suspect. Once again, a former student is being named the suspect.
The incident began near the school’s west gymnasium about 8 a.m., according to officials speaking at a news conference.
Dixon police Chief Steven Howell said the suspect, a 19-year-old former student, “fired several shots near the west gym.”
The school resource officer confronted the suspect, who then fled from the school with the officer in pursuit. During the pursuit, the suspect fired several shots at the officer but did not strike him. The officer returned fire and struck the suspect, who was then taken into custody just west of the school, said Howell in the news conference.
The Last Stand
This successful intervention by Officer Dallas is what we at Firestorm refer to as the Last Stand. First Look/ Last Stand © Firestorm 2018 refers to how we view the positions students, teachers, staff and the community must take when dealing with school violence.
The answer to intervention lies in the First Look. First Look refers to reviewing the behavior in advance to allow for intervention. We know that our 9 component formula (See http://sharetheformula.com), with a core of a Behavioral Risk Threat Assessment program is a simple formula that enables schools, businesses and any other type of organization to intervene, provide assistance and prevent a gun from ever coming to their community. The model requires training for all community members on behaviors of concern. In almost every situation, individuals who are experiencing issues exhibit behaviors that are noticeable, consistent and can be used as warning signs for intervention.
Last Stand describes current response initiatives designed as a Last Stand for when the gunman is standing at the door, such as the case of Officer Dallas at Dixon High School.
In this instance, the student being named as the shooter was recently expelled as reported by multiple news sources. Sauk Valley reported that Milby had a reputation in the area as being a “troublemaker.” In an interview with Sauk Valley, Brandon Stehl a Dixon student, said that the suspect was “hot-headed and reckless.”
Another student, Brianna Johnson is quoted in the piece as saying, “He seemed like a really nice kid, but then everything changed and he was angry and high all the time.” Johnson said that she didn’t know the reason that Milby was expelled.
These behaviors exhibited may point to the need for a stronger, more formalized “First Look” approach. Does the school have all of the components required for a successful identification early on?
Is there Awareness Training, Monitoring, Risk Categorization, Anonymous Reporting, Documentation Management Systems, a Central Information Warehouse, Formal Violence Response policies and and Administrator-on-Duty?
More important, is a School Behavioral Assessment Team trained and ready? This team must be multi-disciplinary in nature, typically including mental health, disciplinarians, and academic individuals. It is essential that this team be trained on what different behaviors of concern represent, how individuals proceed on a path of violence, and how to implement a program to assist in deescalating student behavior that might otherwise lead to violent events.
Last, once the student was expelled, was oversight continued?
Responding to violence after-the-fact is needed and we applaud those who run toward danger. Our goal however, is to combine the 9 key components with a robust Behavioral Threat Assessment Program to identify behaviors of concern long before an act of violence visits any campus, any school no matter how large or small.
As you may have read in our blog and on other social media, on May 10, 2018 at the National Press Club in our nation’s capitol, a Parkland family and an experienced and prestigious group of experts in the fields of education, crisis management and artificial intelligence gathered to discuss the 9 component formula to prevent the continued use of deadly weapons and violence in our schools.
The event, underwritten and supported by our parent company, Novume Solutions (Nasdaq:NVMM) made our best-practices formula available to every school in America free of charge. The copyrighted formula is available at www.sharetheformula.com or on the Firestorm website for free download and use by schools.
If you would like to learn more, please contact use. Let’s stop having to keep count.