Oklahoma school commission hears about shootings, honor culture

The Oklahoma Commission on School Security met Feb. 12. The group heard from Dr. Ryan Brown, an associate psychology professor from the University of Oklahoma, and David Cid, executive director for the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: February 13, 2013

Capturing intelligence such as this has been a topic the commission has discussed previously.

The group heard from another expert in the field Tuesday: David Cid, executive director for the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.

Improving physical security won't necessarily deter attackers, Cid said.

“The tendency of terrorists to go toward a soft target is almost universal,” Cid said. “Therefore, if we harden some targets, we just redirect their interest to a softer one.”

Active shooter incidents are on the rise, and Cid said he expects copycats to follow.

About 1 in 4 active shooter events take place in schools, he said.

Cid talked to the commission about the school siege in Beslan, Russia, in 2004.

About 30 terrorists took over an elementary school for three days, and 331 people — including 186 children — died in the fighting that ensued. Many clues leading up to the attack were overlooked or ignored, Cid said.

“Could it happen here? Sure, it could,” Cid said. “Is it likely to happen? No, but we should consider it a possibility. ... We are much better positioned to prevent a Beslan.”

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