PBS Special

Ever since the wake-up call that was Columbine, schools and law enforcement have developed multiple strategies to prevent attacks. Indeed, the horror of Newtown must be seen in a context that’s not defined by defeat.

More than 120 school assaults have been thwarted in the past ten years. And remarkably, while security hardware and physical barriers can play a deterrent role, it’s been psychologists — working hand in hand with law enforcement officers — who have come up with the most helpful tools to prevent violent attacks.

The Path to Violence tells the story of a powerfully effective Secret Service program — the Safe School Initiative — that’s helped schools detect problem behavior in advance.

Need to Know

The damage done by the massacre of more than two dozen children and adults in Newtown, Conn., last December no doubt will reverberate for years. But much smaller shooting incidents that get little media attention can also have profound consequences.

One such incident occurred exactly 20 years before the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. At Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts, a student went on a sudden shooting rampage that killed two people. Today, both the survivors and family members of those killed in the Simon’s Rock shooting are still trying to come to terms with what happened.

PBS Parents

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Throughout his life, Fred Rogers had a reassuring way of helping families through trying times. He might have been on TV, but it always felt like he was talking to each of us individually. In a curated video playlist from PBS Parents, hear Rogers’ advice to families on how to talk about scary news. As we all process the school shooting in Newtown, his messages are timeless and continue to be valuable for children and the people who care for them.

PBS NEWSHOUR: Words of Hope and Healing After Crisis: Message From Mr. Rogers Goes Viral

PBS NewsHour

As the nation struggles to pinpoint what might help prevent violence in the wake of the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a program being piloted at a school in rural Ohio may have one solution. The theory: short bursts of therapeutic exercise — even if practiced in a standard health class — can drastically improve an adolescent’s chances of dealing with stress in environments as diverse as inner-city Los Angeles and rural Kentucky.

VIDEO: Student Voices Chime in on Preventing School Shootings

BLOG: President’s Campaign Arm Making Gun Control Push


In the wake of the mass killings at Sandy Hook, FRONTLINE looks for answers to the elusive question: who was Adam Lanza?

VIDEO: “There was a Weirdness” About Young Adam Lanza

BLOG: Were Sandy Hook Killings Inspired by Norwegian Massacre?

SLIDESHOW: Adam Lanza’s Path to the Sandy Hook Tragedy


More than a decade ago, FRONTLINE set out to understand how a troubled young man with no history of violence could become a random killer in the halls of his high school. What clues in his background, experience or medical condition might help make sense of a senseless crime?

On May 20, 1998, 15-year-old Kip Kinkel shot and killed his mother and father. The next morning he went to school and opened fire on his classmates, killing two and wounding 25.

This is the story of Kip Kinkel at Thurston High.

PBS NewsHour

In a wide-ranging and personal interview Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks to Gwen Ifill about growing up in Chicago, saying, “Gun violence has haunted me my entire life.” In his first interview since the tragedy, he describes how crimes against school children during his tenure as superintendent of the Chicago public school system shaped his own views on guns. And, while warning “it will never be the entire solution,” Duncan looked at the role government can start to play in trying to solve these problems.

GOOGLE HANGOUT: Arm Teachers or Ban Video Games? Students Debate

PBS NewsHour

As news of the shooting in Newtown filtered into schools and homes, children and teenagers absorbed the tragedy in very different and personal ways. PBS NewsHour asked the 45 schools in its network of Student Reporting Labs to record interviews with young people about how they first heard about the shooting, their initial reactions and what kinds of conversations they’ve had since.

VIDEO: Hari Sreenivasan reports on media and social media in the wake of Newtown

Cry for Help

Hamilton High, featured in Cry for Help, has taken it upon themselves to do a better job to address the emotional problems of their students.

PBS Parents

Bethany Hardy asks, “Are little boys predisposed to gun play?” and provides tips on how to address violence and toy guns with children.