While shootings in schools are rare episodes, when they occur, they are often devastating. As an institution of higher learning, it is important for Pepperdine to view these types of incidents with the appropriate perspective. Since 1966, there have been roughly 100 shooting deaths at U.S. universities and college campuses; Virginia Tech was the largest. Compare that to the approximately 1,100 that commit suicide on college and university campuses every year, or the 1,400 to 1,700 alcohol-related deaths on college and university campuses each year.
Despite shootings on campuses being rare, we as a community must be vigilant and prepared. It is important to note a few facts about these types of shootings. The Secret Service has studied the 30 major shooting incidents that have taken place at schools (elementary through college) since 1974 and found remarkable similarity in them. First, almost all of the individuals who have committed these crimes have been male, and were known for being socially isolated. Almost all of them planned out their actions in advance, and over three quarters of them actually shared their plans with others before putting them into effect. Unfortunately, in only two cases did anyone report the plan to authorities before the attack. With these facts in mind, it is critically important that members of our community report threats and potential threats in a timely manner.
If you believe an individual poses an imminent threat to a member or members of the University community, contact the Department of Public Safety immediately. If you are located at a graduate campus and believe imminent danger is likely, please contact 911 immediately and then contact the Department of Public Safety.
If you do not believe that harm is imminent, but an individual’s behavior seems threatening or seems like it could lead to harm to the individual or to the community, you should also report the concern. If you are a student or a faculty member, contact Public Safety or your dean’s office. If you are a staff member or other member of the community, contact Public Safety or Human Resources. In the event you would like to submit a report during non-business hours, the Department of Public Safety is open everyday, 24 hours a day.
It is always better to err on the side of reporting a concern than to remain silent; the institution has resources with which to assess these situations and the individual of concern. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Safety.
For convenience, contact information appears below:
- Department of Public Safety – 310.506.4441
- Human Resources – 310.506.4397
- Seaver College Dean’s Office – 310.506.4280
- Caruso School of Law Dean’s Office – 310.506.4621
- Graziadio School Dean’s Office – 310.568.5689
- Graduate School of Education and Psychology Dean’s Office – 310.568.5615
- School of Public Policy Dean’s Office – 310.506.7490
- Vice President for Student Affairs – 310.506.4472