General ED Publications

Bystander Report

The Bystander Report was developed by the United States Secret Service and United State Department of Education. The report provides Knowledge of Potential School-Based Violence: Information Students learn May Prevent a Targeted Attack.

Prior Knowledge of Potential School-Based Violence: Information Students Learn May Prevent a Targeted Attack  [PDF, 1.4MB]

Campus Attacks: Targeted Violence Affecting Institutions of Higher Education  

In response to the tragic shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ("Virginia Tech") on April 16, 2007, former cabinet Secretaries Michael Leavitt and Margaret Spellings, and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales submitted the Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy dated June 13, 2007. The report included a recommendation that the U.S. Secret Service (USS), the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) explore the issue of violence at institutions of higher education (IHEs). Accordingly, ED/USS/FBI initiated a collaborative effort to understand the nature of this violence and identify ways of preventing future attacks that would affect our nation's colleges and universities. In total, 272 incidents were identified through a comprehensive search of more than 115,000 results in open-source reporting from 1900 to 2008. The findings are pertinent and far-reaching, and the incidents studied include all forms of targeted violence, ranging from domestic violence to serial killers.

The report is accessible here: [PDF, 256KB]

Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans (New)

The Guide is accessible here:


Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education (New)

The Guide is accessible here:

Guide to School Vulnerability Assessments  

This guide is intended to be a companion piece to Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities, originally published by the U.S. Department of Education in 2003 as a guide for schools and districts to prepare for a variety of crises. This new guide, published by the U.S. Department of Education in 2008, emphasizes a valuable part of emergency management planning-ongoing vulnerability assessment-and is intended to assist schools with the implementation of an effective vulnerability assessment process, to include choosing an appropriate vulnerability assessment tool. This guide is not intended to be prescriptive or to give step-by-step instructions for conducting assessments, rather it is intended to describe the key elements to be considered when selecting an assessment tool appropriate for school environments and provide guidance for conducting an assessment that will inform school emergency management activities.

The Guide is accessible here:  [PDF, 2.7MB]

Spanish Version:  Guía para las evaluaciones de vulnerabilidad escolar [PDF, 2.45MB]

The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting  

In 2005 the U.S. Department of Education published The Handbook for Campus Crime Reporting, a compendium of U.S. Department of Education (ED) guidance on complying with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). Since that time, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law, amending the Clery Act and adding a number of safety- and security-related requirements to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). This new legislation necessitated writing The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting-an updated and expanded version of the previous handbook. This new version of the handbook will familiarize you with the amended Clery Act and the new regulations that were added by HEOA. Similar to the 2005 version, this handbook takes you step by step along the path to compliance and explains what the regulations mean and what they require of your institution.

The Handbook is accessible here: [PDF, 256KB]

The guide is available here: [PDF, 276KB]

Spanish Version:  Información práctica sobre la planificación para situaciones de crisis [PDF, 276KB]

Threat Assessment in Schools

Published by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Secret Service, these two guides were developed as part of the Safe School Initiative, a study of 37 school shootings and other school-based attacks that took place between 1974 and 2000. These guides set forth a process for identifying, assessing, and managing students who may pose a threat of targeted violence in schools. This process, known as threat assessment, was first pioneered by the U.S. Secret Service and has been modified based upon findings from this study. These guides are intended for use by school personnel, law enforcement officials, and others with protective responsibilities in our nation's schools.

Final Report and Findings: Implications for Prevention of School Attacks in the United States  [PDF, 1.8MB]

Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates  [PDF, 2MB]

Tips for Helping Students Recovering from Traumatic Events

Practical information for parents, students, teachers, and others who are coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster. (September 2005)

Accessible here:



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