Thursday, July 29, 1999

Violent behavior checklist

        The National School Safety Center has compiled a checklist of characteristics after tracking school-associated violent deaths in the U.S. since July 1992. While there's no foolproof way to identify potentially dangerous students, here are some characteristics that have been linked to violent behavior:

        • Has a history of tantrums and uncontrollable angry outbursts.

        • Characteristically resorts to name-calling, cursing or abusive language.

        • Habitually makes violent threats when angry.

        • Has previously brought a weapon to school.

        • Has a background of serious disciplinary problems at school and inthe community.

        • Has a background of drug, alcohol or other substance abuse or dependency.

        • Is on the fringe of his/her peer group with few or no close friends.

        • Is preoccupied with weapons, explosives or other incendiary devices.

        • Has previously been truant, suspended or expelled from school.

        • Displays cruelty to animals.

        • Has little or no supervision and support from parents or a caring adult.

        • Has witnessed or been a victim of abuse or neglect in the home.

        • Has been bullied and/or bullies or intimidates peers or younger children.

        • Tends to blame others for difficulties and problems he or she causes for themselves.

        • Consistently prefers TV shows, movies or music expressing violent themes and acts.

        • Prefers reading materials dealing with violent themes, rituals and abuse.

        • Reflects anger, frustration and the dark side of life in school essays or writing projects.

        • Is involved with a gang or anti-social group on the fringe of peer acceptance.

        • Is often depressed and/or has significant mood swings.

        • Has threatened or attempted suicide.


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