School-based bomb threats are increasing at an alarming rate according to a well-known national school safety expert who just completed extensive research on bomb threat incidents.
School safety expert Dr. Amy Klinger says her research over the last 18 months shows a dramatic increase in school-based bomb threat incidents both over the last few years and specifically during the 2015-16 academic year.
“While incidents have been gradually increasing since 2012, in the 2015-2016 school year U.S. schools experienced 1,267 bomb threats, an increase of 158 percent compared to that same time period in 2012-2013, and an increase of 1,461% since November 2011.” Klinger said. The report found that all 50 states and several US territories experienced bomb threats this past school year. “While this report focuses on United States schools, our data indicates that this is an international phenomena as well, with school-related bomb incidents occurring at an increased rate in virtually every continent in more than 22 different countries this school year alone.”
The study also found that in addition to an average of 7.77 bomb threats per day this past school year alone, four explosive devices were found in schools, and one detonation occurred in a school. As a new school year begins, Klinger predicts a continued increase in bomb threats, as “the number of bomb incidents in the month of September increased 307% from 2012 – 2014, with an average of 84 bomb threats occurring every October, which means this isn’t just a spring problem, it’s a year round concern.”
Klinger is the Director of Programs for the Educator’s School Safety Network, a national non-profit school safety organization based in Ohio. She also serves as associate professor of educational administration at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.
“The vast majority of media reports related to school safety this school year have been about bomb threats,” Klinger said. “Our research indicates that bomb threats are currently a daily occurrence in schools.”
Her non-profit, Educator’s School Safety Network (ESSN), believes it is critical to move from mere speculation on this issue to actual facts and data. “We have compiled the most current information on bomb incidents in America’s schools to determine the scope and severity of the bomb incident problem, and it is significant.” she said.
“Based on our analysis of bomb threat data and trends, the sobering reality is that an explosive device will be detonated in an American school, and we must be ready,” Klinger said. “The question that must be considered is not ‘if’ an explosive device will be detonated in a school but rather ‘when.’