Peter Langman is a speaker working with Kirkland Productions through Safe & Sound Schools.
Dr. Peter Langman is a psychologist whose research on school shooters has received international recognition. His book, Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, was named an Outstanding Academic Title and was translated into German, Dutch, Finnish, and Russian. His work has been cited in congressional testimony on Capitol Hill and he has been interviewed by the New York Times, The Today Show, 20/20, Nightline, Fox, CNN, the BBC, and over 500 other news outlets in the USA, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.
After the Sandy Hook attack, the CEO of the American Psychological Association presented Dr. Langman’s recommendations on school safety to President Obama. He has presented at both the FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC, and the FBI National Academy in Quantico. He has been an invited speaker at the National Counterterrorism Center and was hired by Homeland Security to train professionals in school safety.
He maintains the largest online collection of materials relating to school shooters at schoolshooters.info, including over 500 documents totaling 65,000 pages. His book, School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators was published in 2015. In 2018, Dr. Langman became a researcher with the National Threat Assessment Center of the United States Secret Service. In 2020, he became the Director of Research and School Safety Training with Drift Net Securities. His new book is Warning Signs: Identifying School Shooters Before They Strike.
Bestselling Author of Permanent Midnight and I, Fatty
Preventing School Shootings
(Available as both half-day and full-day trainings)
The presentation will first identify and refute common misconceptions about school shooters, with an emphasis on moving beyond the stereotypes and highlighting the diversity of perpetrators. It also explains the variations among school shootings, including random, targeted, and mixed attacks. We will then explore three psychological types of shooters—psychopathic, psychotic, and traumatized—using case examples to illustrate the types, and highlighting patterns of failures and rejections that contribute to the shooters’ rage and motivations for violence. The second half of the presentation distinguishes threat assessment as a proactive preventive strategy from emergency response procedures, which are reactive. This section highlights the wide range of warning signs of potential violence, including threats, attack-related behavior, and leakage. It also discusses the barriers that both students and adults may experience that keep them from reporting the warning signs they encounter.
Pathways to Violence: Three Types of School Shooters
This presentation dispels common misconceptions about school shooters always being bullied loners by demonstrating the diversity of perpetrators. It then presents a psychological typology of school shooters, dividing them into three categories: psychopathic, psychotic, and traumatized. A case example of each of the three types is presented to demonstrate the range of perpetrators and the contributing factors in their violence.
Lessons Learned from A threat Assessment that Failed
(90-minute workshop) The presentation will first identify and refute common In 2013, Karl Pierson threatened to kill the school's librarian. The administration conducted a threat assessment and concluded that Pierson presented a "low level" threat. Three months later, he committed his attack. What went wrong? Where did the threat assessment fall short? What more could have been done? This workshop looks at the records that have been released to highlight key aspects of the threat assessment process, impediments to the flow of information, and the facts that could have been discovered with a more thorough, ongoing investigation.
Warning SIgns in Student Assignments
The presentation will first identify and refute common A potential source of information that is often overlooked is the presence of warning signs in student assignments. This presentation examines actual homework assignments of school shooters to highlight how subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) warning signs appear in student work. Utilizing these warning signs as a starting point for a threat assessment investigation, it then demonstrates the amount of information that could have been gathered if an inquiry had been conducted.
The Motivations and Justifications of mass attackers
(90-minute workshop) The presentation will first identify and refute common This presentation draws on the writings of perpetrators to gain insight into the dynamics driving them toward violence. Though school shooters often claim that they are retaliating for some injustice they have endured, the sources of their violence are typically found in their flawed sense of self, disturbing personality traits, and the drive to transform themselves from unknown, powerless "nobodies" into figures of power and significance.
Dr. Langman’s presentations were well received and provided our community and school personnel with facts and suggestions related to school shootings and prevention that were timely and informative. Dr. Langman’s research related to Why Kids Kill left us with a knowledge base and understanding that will assist us as we work with our students in the future.
Dr. Jill Janes, Superintendent of Schools, Hannibal, Missouri