Minnesota study says school shooters are often insiders

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: via WINK News.

Following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, schools nationwide increased security to keep strangers out of school hallways.

After the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California Thursday, we looked at what can be done to protect students from other students.

A new study by Hamline University in Minnesota questions whether schools are doing enough to protect themselves from people already on the campus.

“When families learn that their loved ones’ are involved, their world stands still.” That’s how Pricila Hardway told us she felt when she learned her grandson’s school in Indiana fell victim to a shooting. Last year, a 13-year-old student shot a teacher and a classmate.

“He was on a different campus,” Hardaway said. “And when I tell you, my heart was beating like 90 miles per hour until I got resolution. I could not contact any of the parents.”

Minnesota researchers are looking at who commits mass shootings at schools, and they have found it’s typically insiders like students or others already allowed on school property.

“Nobody’s paying attention,” Hardaway said. “They don’t see the indicators.”

The university study also points out dangers with active shooter training drills like what many in California depended on Thursday morning.

School District of Lee County said The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Safety Act put in place after the Parkland shooting requires drills in Florida schools. Schools perform them every month.

Researchers say some would-be attackers are learning how to take advantage of the drills. Others said it’s also creating a fascination of school shootings for other students. But Hardaway said drills can help students when there is danger.

“I think they need to know,” Hardaway said. “They need to know what to do. Because otherwise they’re lost. They’ll panic, they’ll freeze, They’ll sit there, they won’t respond.”

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