Education and Security

Research theme

How can we prevent school attacks? This research theme investigates the phenomenon of violence at schools by focusing on specific instances.

A school attack is a planned, targeted and serious act of violence perpetrated at an educational institution. This involves instances of weapon use which a school cannot deal with on its own. In this specific context it concerns acts perpetrated by pupils or students of the educational institution. In Germany a school attack is usually referred to as an ‘Amoklauf’, while in English-speaking countries it is called a school shooting.

More knowledge needed

It’s vital for the educational institutions in the Netherlands to possess adequate knowledge to deal with this theme. This is based on the assumption that the risk of a school attack occurring cannot be eliminated altogether, but that instruments are conceivable to reduce risk and increase awareness amongst educational staff. In this way the educational institutions can continue to develop and implement their security protocols and preventive measures.

More information?

For more information about this research line, please get in touch with Ms Birgit Pfeifer at 088 - 469 77 43 or by email:

Research lines

In Windesheim’s Human Movement and Education research centre the Education and Security research line is developing several products, including a Guide on Prevention and How to Handle School Attacks, as well as research on how to prevent inappropriate interpersonal behaviour in education as well as school shootings. This research line was a project forming part of the Professorship of Safety and Social Cohesion. After eight productive years of good research results and contributions to education, Windesheim decided to discontinue the Professorship of Safety and Social Cohesion as of 1 January 2014. This is why the Education and Security research line is now part of the Human Movement and Education research centre.