Masters Thesis

A Program evaluation of the Kern County School Threat Assessment Taskforce: mitigating the effects of the active shooter threat in Kern County

The Kern County School Threat Assessment Taskforce (KCSTAT) was formed to establish partnerships, review current policies, procedures, for site security and threat assessments to identify resources and introduce key personnel to protect, detour and mitigate death or injury to our children from an active-shooter event, such as “Columbine”, “New Town” or “Virginia Tech”. School based violence is not a new subject to most of us living in the United States and there are numerous research and macro-policies from government agencies, i.e., Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Department of Education (DOE) and the United States Secret Service (USSS), with guidance to schools to prepare for such events. It is evident that during the era of civil liability and conflicting advice, having educators elect the safest practice to prepare for an active-shooter event is unfamiliar to their discipline. This burden should be shouldered with an “all discipline” collaborative from areas of expertise with capabilities to assist with identifying the best methods to prepare and act to an active-shooter event on their campus. Active-shooter incidents are extremely rare with high consequences and there must be a universal decision to provide a standardized policy and practice throughout our region to give a basis to train and prepare educators and students to provide a foundation for improving their chances of survival in a school-based violent attack. KCSTAT’s unique blend of personnel from a variety of professions have developed an unified and focused approach on problem solving the risk specific event of an active-shooter on one of our community’s school grounds, and providing suggestions to mitigate, train and prepare for such an event if it occurs.

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