Educator’s School Safety Network has tracked an average of 73 threats and other incidents each day at schools across the country in the three weeks after a gunman killed 17 students and educators. The Educator’s Safety Network is a nonprofit group focused on safety training for teachers and staff who work in schools.
However, she said, educators make thousands of decisions every day and must be trained to consider safety in every thing they do so they are prepared to handle any type of crisis.
She noted one school system that includes five minutes of safety discussion at every staff meeting.
“School safety is an education issue that happens to involve safety,” Klinger said, not a law enforcement issue that happens to occur in a school.
"You have sort of response fatigue," says the organization's Amanda Klinger, "so I might be very vigilant and I might be doing an assessment of, is this a substantive threat? What do we need to do? Do we need to search the building? By the time it's the fifth time, how closely are we really searching?"
Amanda Klinger, director of operations at the Educator’s School Safety Network, said copycat behavior is common after incidents of violence, even after those less serious than the attack in Parkland. Widespread social media use and sustained media attention on the attack could also be contributing factors to the spike, she said.
Amy Klinger, co-founder of the Ohio-based Educator's School Safety Network, said that rather than arming them, schools should train teams of educators to assess threats. The calls by Trump and others for guns in schools have "really taken the focus off things that are more effective," she said. "We need to do things that work, not that feel good."
Klinger said more guns on campus can lead to more accidental shootings, including two earlier this month in Minnesota and Florida, and it's unreasonable to expect even armed staff on large campuses to be able to stop a mass shooter.
"We need to train our teachers how to identify these people. People don't want to hear that — they want a quick fix," she said.
"There’s always a copycat echo situation, but this is significantly higher than what you would expect," Klinger said.
Iowa isn't alone in the increase of school threats. Across the United States, since Feb. 15, at least 600 threats and incidents have occurred, according to Educator's Safety School Network. The organization tallies an "incident" when a student actually brings a weapon to school or breaks into a building.
The Educator’s School Safety Network, an advocacy group, has tracked more than 70 threats and incidents per day at U.S. schools after Parkland, including bomb and gun threats. Typically, that organization says, the figure is about 10. Most of the threats were delivered by social media.
School shootings commonly lead to copycat threats, said Amanda Klinger, director of operations for the Educator’s School Safety Network, an Ohio-based group that tracks school threats. The number of school threats has jumped from an average of 10 a school day nationally to more than 50 a day since the Florida shooting, Klinger said, adding that the actual number of threats is likely much higher.