Yost offers new training tool to prevent school violence in Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch | Randy Ludlow

The goal is not only to identify and stop would-be school shooters, but also to identify troubled students in need of help.

Attorney General Dave Yost said Wednesday that his office is offering a three-hour online video training course on threat assessment to help prevent violence from stalking Ohio classrooms.

Yost and other experts are urging school and police officials to take the training and form threat-assessment teams, with $500 grants available to school resource officers and local police to help create the teams.

Prevention often is a missing piece in school-violence protection plans, the attorney general said. Warning signs often are spotted in advance but not relayed to authorities, he said.

Detecting troubled students can “provide help before that pressure cooker in their mind and heart boils over” into violence, Yost said.

Yost said the training videos were compiled with “best practices” from experts, including the U.S. Secret Service, in identifying signs that a student could become violent or commit other acts such as self-harm.

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