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Project to Prevent School Violence Funded with 1.128 Million Euros

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Sponsors New Research Project at Freie Universität Aimed at Prevention of School Shootings and Violence at German Schools

№ 223/2009 from Aug 28, 2009

A research project at Freie Universität Berlin on the prevention of school shootings and serious, targeted violence in schools has been granted 1.128 million euros in funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) over a three-year period. The project, headed by the pychology professor, Herbert Scheithauer, aims to develop instructions and guidelines for teachers and educators to enable them to recognize warning signs and avert dangerous situations.
The new research project will investigate social and professional networks as well as early warning systems that would function to prevent shootings in schools and other targeted, serious acts of violence at German schools. The first step will be studies at schools in Berlin and Baden-Wurttemberg. In a subproject  the Brandenburg State Police Academy will carry out similar studies at schools in the state of Brandenburg. The various studies are intended to make comparisons possible between schools in large urban areas, a large state with mainly rural areas, and a large state in southwestern Germany.

The next step will be to improve the state of knowledge about risk factors and warning signals for school shootings as well as the evaluation criteria for threats or intimations of violence and violent fantasies. In the medium term the project is expected to contribute to better possibilities for preventing violence at German schools and to the further development of training methods used at schools. In the long term it aims to provide comprehensive support and consultancy services in response to violent announcements.

For further information, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Herbert Scheithauer, Junior Professor of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Email: hscheit@zedat.fu-berlin.de