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A New Type of School Intruder

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In the wake of all this recent school violence, MSNBC has collected 10 myths about school shootings from a 2002 study on the issue by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education. The myths include everything from “He didn’t fit the profile” to “He was a loner” and make for an interesting read. However, it’s noteworthy that the study assumes that the shooter would most likely be a student or someone with a strong connection to the school. Two of the most recent school shooting incidents involved adults who were not even affiliated with the school. Might be time for a new study.

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As a co-director of the U.S. Secret Service/U.S. Department of Education study of school shootings referenced in "A New Type of School Intruder," I want to clarify that the study focused only on attacks that were carried out by students and former students. It was not an assumption of the research but rather a decision made by our research team on where to focus our data collection and prevention efforts. I hope this helps in understanding our findings.

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