UM experts available to discuss prevention after school shootings

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EXPERT ADVICE

Experts from the University of Michigan can discuss the school shootings and the aftermath in a community following the November 30 shootings at Oxford High School in Michigan:

Marc Zimmerman is Co-Director of the UM Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention and Co-Principal Investigator of the National Center for School Safety. Research by Zimmerman shows that engaging local residents in community greening efforts can lead to a substantial reduction in gun violence, and that empowering adolescents to become agents of change to community improvement projects improve their positive behaviors and reduce aggression and violence.

“School safety begins with prevention, which means creating school climates where adults model respect for others and help monitor deviating student behavior, helping young people develop social skills and emotional skills for conflict management and problem solving that do not include violent behavior, and developing educational programs for all members of the school community to recognize signs of distress with safe ways to report problems to adults appropriate, ”he said.

Contact: Nardy Bickel, [email protected]
Institute for the Prevention of Firearms Injury


Patrick carter is Co-Director of the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine in the School of Medicine, and Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education in the School of Public Health. Carter’s research focuses on the prevention of firearm injuries across the spectrum of research, from understanding the epidemiology of the problem to prevention-oriented solutions for individuals and communities at risk. Carter is leading several NIH and CDC studies focused on hospital-based interventions to reduce the risk of gun violence among at-risk youth.

Zimmerman and Carter write about school shooters and the pandemic in an article in The United States Conversation

Contact: Alex Piazza, [email protected]
Institute for the Prevention of Firearms Injury


Sandra Graham Bermann is a psychology professor whose research focuses on traumatic stress reactions in children exposed to violence.

“Although it is not easy, most people who have witnessed or been involved in a traumatic event grieve and adjust over time,” she said. “Grieving is a normal part of recovery from traumatic events. While it is normal for those involved to have nightmares or intrusive memories about the violence, perhaps to become hypervigilant, depressed, or anxious, these symptoms usually subside over time.

“But some children and adults may continue to exhibit symptoms of traumatic stress that interfere with school or work, with social relationships, and with their optimal development as adolescents or young adults. Schools and parents can support the grieving process. Long-term symptoms that could develop into post-traumatic stress disorder require professional help.

Contact: [email protected]


Joanna quigley is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and provides support to primary care providers serving the mental health needs of Michigan children and adolescents through the MC3 program. Quigley explains how to talk with children and teens about the shooting in a Michigan medical history.

“The greatest things that adults and our communities can do for young people right now are to provide consistency and structure, to keep lines of communication open, and to find time each day to connect,” he said. she declared. Make it clear that you are available to answer questions about what happened, but make sure the child is not overexposed to media coverage of the event or social media posts about it .

“Adults should name the emotions they feel about this situation, especially with teenagers. Sometimes older children and teens aren’t ready to name the emotions they are feeling or proactively discuss them, but if they hear others feeling them, they can.

Contact: Kara Gavin, [email protected]


Justin heinze is an Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the UM School of Public Health. Heinze’s research focuses on the study of adolescent and young adult development, with a particular focus on youth violence and the long-term ramifications of exposure to violence. Heinze is the Senior Professor of the School of Public Health’s IDEAS Initiative for Gun Injury Prevention, which promotes data and evidence-based solutions for gun injuries and death. In this Questions and answers, Heinze discusses the need to increase gun injury prevention strategies.

“One piece of information that I have seen that is consistent with other shooting events in an active school – but that stands out nonetheless – is how quickly the shooter was able to injure and kill his victims,” ​​he said. declared. “This underscores the importance of mitigation strategies at the time of the shooting; for example, sheltering in place and coordinating with law enforcement – both seemed to occur in this case – to limit the number of injuries and deaths.

“But it also shows how essential upstream or prevention strategies are to intervene before an event escalates into a completed action plan, because even in just five minutes, we have lost at least four young people to gun violence and many, many more will be affected by the actions of the shooter.

Contact: [email protected]
PUBLIC HEALTH IDEAS for preventing gunshot injuries


Rebecca cunningham is Vice President of Research at UM, Professor of Emergency Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, and Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education in the Faculty of Public Health. Over the course of his career, Cunningham has partnered with researchers and community groups to formulate and answer critical questions about firearm injury prevention. She is the author of over 50 scholarly publications focused on the prevention of gunshot wounds. She also leads the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens Consortium, an interdisciplinary group of more than 30 researchers, practitioners and gun owners across the United States dedicated to reducing gun injuries and deaths. in children.

“Gun violence killed nearly 40,000 people across the country last year, and this crisis is unfortunately escalating every year,” she said. “Guns are consistently the leading killer of teens and young adults, and in Michigan over the past decade guns have killed more people than opioids. Serious societal issues, like motor vehicle accidents, have turned to scientific evidence to prevent injury, and guns should be no exception.

“There is a lot more that can be done to solve this problem. That’s why researchers at the University of Michigan are partnering with leaders in rural and urban communities, leveraging expertise and resources, so that together we achieve our common goals of reducing injuries and deaths by firearms, while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Contact: [email protected]
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Jane Prophet is the Associate Dean for Research and Creative Work at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at UM. She is a member of U-M Institute for the Prevention of Firearm Injury Steering committee and is co-founder of a new National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab which seeks to study ways in which public art and community engagement can reduce gunshot wounds in youth.

Prophet can also talk about designing smart weapons to reduce injuries, such as when a child grabs a gun by mistake, and behavior change through a deep understanding of different communities and how artistic and design methods and activities can facilitate this understanding.

“When communities experience the trauma of gun-related injuries and deaths, coming together to mourn and commemorate is essential for healing. These gatherings can be aided by a wide range of activities, especially creative ones, that bring people together.

Contact: [email protected]


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