School shootings can be prevented -- here's how

William Woodard Headshot

William Woodward is a faculty member at the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) at the University of Colorado Boulder. He co-authored the Report on the Arapahoe High School Shooting and trains schools in the Safe Communities Safe Schools model developed by CSPV. He is a faculty member for the National Sheriffs’ Institute Leadership training academy. He was Director of The State of Colorado’s Division of Criminal Justice and served in law enforcement for fifteen years. In his free time, Bill enjoys road trips with his loving wife.


He is the reason for my talk – because I wanted to know “why” school shootings continue.

What sparks your curiosity?

I am really curious why when we demand proven life-saving drugs and behaviors from our medical profession, why we don’t demand life-saving proven programs and practices to reduce violence and delinquency in our communities and our schools. We know of more than 80 practices and programs that are proven to reduce violence and delinquency, yet few are implemented in our schools.

What is the most uncommon experience, practice, belief, viewpoint, or habit that you have, and how has that shaped you as a person?

One professor in a master’s class on organizational development class taught me the value of leadership through demanding good data for evidence-based decision making and yet the humility to admit I know a lot less than I think I know. The last part is the hardest.

Hobbies / Passions / Fun Facts

I went to Palau last year to see where my dad fought in WWII. Surprisingly I found an ancient saltwater lake, cut off from the ocean, where I swam with thousands of jellyfish – that had evolved without stingers—because they had no enemies I love to go on driving vacations with my wife. I love to work with Montbello’s Steps to Success – who have wonderfully exciting “recognition” nights for students who contribute to the community