The U.S. and many other places around the world have regrettably witnessed an apparent increase in school violence. That violence often comes in the form of an active shooter.
Nearly 11 years ago, Gray Ram Tactical LLC conducted a research study to determine the profile of an active killer inside of the educational institution — including the morning school bus ride, through the school day, and until the end of extracurricular activities in the evening.
Research showed that since the time of the Columbine shootings, many active killers committing an attack inside of a school have traveled to the school building via numerous different means. Some walked to school carrying their weapons, some drove themselves to the school with their weapons, and some were given rides by friends or family to the school with their weapons.
More contemporarily, killers have been transported to school via the school bus. Students bent on violence have carried their weapons (knives, bombs, guns) onto the school bus and have ridden to school, being delivered directly to their unsuspecting victims.
It is imperative that the school bus driver of today be aware of the many warning signs and indicators of violence that are present in these types of situations. Previous indicators might include a student that has brought a weapon to school in the past or has made recent threats. Immediate indicators might include such things as inappropriate clothing, distinct behavioral changes, or a security tap.
A security tap is an action that a person will take subconsciously to reassure himself that the item he is attempting to hide is still concealed. It is a telltale sign that a person is hiding something. The person will touch the item routinely and at certain times, such as when bending over, standing up, or turning quickly.
Being able to identify signs of concealed weapons is a life and death skill. Regrettably, active killers don’t have bright colors or flashing lights drawing attention to themselves. Fortunately, though, they do display observable signals. Pupil transportation professionals must be prepared to identify those crucial signals.