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September 11, 2017

Deception in Schools—When Crisis Preparedness Efforts Go Too Far

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles
  • 2National Association of School Psychologists, Washington, DC
  • 3American Federation of School Administrators, Washington, DC
JAMA Pediatr. Published online September 11, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.2565

Without warning, police burst into classrooms in a middle school, sparking panic among seventh graders as they point loaded weapons at students, aiming to protect them from an active shooter. The panic spreads to parents as students send text messages to them during the attack.

Highway patrol officers go classroom to classroom in a high school notifying students that several classmates died in motor vehicle crashes over the weekend, sparking grief as peers first learn that students missing from the class that morning had died.

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