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Can Safety Education Minimize School Gun Violence? Every couple of years a shocking episode of gun violence at a school reawakens Americansto the fact that the safety and security we once assumed would envelope our children all through their school day is no more. The disaster in Newton Massachusetts is the latest in an all-too familiar litany of innocents killed. Predictably, in the wake of the slaughter in Newton, disputes about gun control and the Second Amendment were joined in every segment of the public square. However, we need to ask ourselves what's the problem that most ought to be dealt with in the wake of another school shooting trauma: is it gun control, which focuses on preventing the perpetrator, or school safety and security, which concentrates on the children?

The knee jerk reaction to declare that gun control is the cure all way to gun violence in schools is predictable. It's politics - liberal versus conservative, . A further examination demonstrates the gun control ‘solution’ is so popular because it is, , free. There’s no cost to the school and no obvious cost to the taxpayer. There might not be any extra cost to the government agencies that supervise firearm regulation and registration - different restrictions, but not necessarily additional burden.

Only in the world of US politics can we blithely declare such a simple and free resolution to a difficult problem. Gun control remains such an appealing solution to school violence as a result of illusion that it is free, but what's worse, because of the illusion that gun violence is the only security problem facing America's schools.

There is no question that the leaders of our country's schools take their responsibilty for student's safety and security very seriously and have formulated strategies directed at prevention of threat and effective response to violence. Typically, school districts have done an effective job of making staff and local first responders aware of their plans for how to prevent acts of violence in the school and the way to respond in the event threats materialize. Unfortunately, for too many of the employees who'd be called on to implement these plans, they're an abstraction, instead of something they can carry out if called on to do so. Response protocols that are printed, neatly bound and sit on a shelf, cannot be retrieved and put into motion amidst the shock of a genuine threat.

As school districts across the nation once again contemplate how they may be more competent at examining threats, designing in measures of prevention and being equipped to respond in a crisis, there's a proven resource they might go to for assistance: The University of Findlay’s All Hazards Training Center. Contemporary, established techniques for


discerning and preventing conflict and for how to deal with violence are the core of plans and training programs the University of Findlay instructors develop for schools around the country.

An important distinction of the Findlay approach is including other stakeholders such as first responders, police, the healthcare community in the school safety planning and training . We can debate the merits of how much new gun laws will enhance the security of the nation's schools, but theverdict is in on the worth of school safety and security training: it works! Save gun control debate for the politicians. Permit the experts, like the team at the University of Findlay's All Hazards Training Center, carry on with the work of helping schools to genuinely improve their safety and security.

Can Safety Education Minimize School Gun Violence?  

Our schools are no longer the safe, protected env...

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