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The Difficult Task Of Singling Out School Shooters


After every school shooting, the standard question is: what might have prevented this?  Metal detectors and armed teachers aside, there are efforts to figure out which students are thinking about committing violence on their classmates. 

But the process of identifying potential shooters brings some risks, too.  Like what if the assessment is wrong?  And how can a student be reintegrated into the school community after being singled out? 

These are issues considered by John Van Dreal, who runs the safety and risk management programs at Salem-Keizer schools, and by Jeffrey Sprague, who is the co-director of the Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior at the University of Oregon College of Education.  They are our guests. 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.