two school police officers in campus cafeteria

Astor Cautions Against ‘Making Schools Into Little Prisons’

Social Welfare Professor Ron Avi Astor spoke about competing approaches to curbing gun violence in an extended interview on the Slate podcast “What Next.” Astor cautioned against plans that would “make schools into little prisons” with metal detectors, steel doors, armed teachers and other strategies to “harden” campuses, which can deepen students’ anxiety, according to research. He called for vigilance to detect a constellation of risk factors displayed by potential school shooters, including suicidal thoughts, a hunger for attention and an extreme obsession with firearms, prior shooters and conspiracy theories that focus on harming others. Several other media outlets have also called on Astor to share his expertise on the most effective strategies to create a safe campus environment; current legislation to curb gun violence; and an eight-point call to action put forth by a nationwide coalition of scholars. They include Time, ABC News, the New York Times, EdWeek and K-12 Dive.


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