Speaker Shares Tips to Prevent School Violence

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By Stephanie Tyrpak
By Randy Livingston

MARION -- School shootings are a big concern for educators and law enforcement. They spend hours planning on how they'll safely deal with those situations. On Thursday, those officials had the chance to learn from a national expert on violence. 

The day long session was held at the Pavilion of the City of Marion.
 
Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman shared stories from other school attacks, hoping to help teachers and police spot issues with violence before someone gets hurt.
 
Grossman is a former Psychology professor at West Point, an Army Ranger, and an author. 
 
"He covers the psychology, kind of what drives the bad guy," said Williamson County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Murrah, "what has to motivate the good guys in that situation."
 
Murrah first suggested bringing in Grossman as a speaker months ago. The Franklin-Williamson Regional Superintendent Office joined in to lead the planning. 
 
The past year has brought several school shootings. The latest one was on Tuesday. A 12-year-old boy fired at classmates in New Mexico, injuring two.
 
"We need to start working on it in I guess a proactive manner," said Murrah. "Start looking out for certain things and trying to get ahead of it."
 
Grossman covers topics like bullying and video games and how to react to warning signs.
 
Murrah asked schools to bring administrators, teachers, secretaries, and janitors to the training.
 
"The janitor is out and about all day long," said Murrah.  He's all over the building. The secretary generally knows as much or more than the building principal does, depending on what type of day it is."
 
Teacher Matt Hampleman is part of the Frankfort Community High School Crisis Prevention Team.
 
"We have one of the older school buildings in the area, at 100 years old," said Hampleman. "There's a lot of things to think about."      
 
The district deals closely with their local police department and uses active shooter training to create a safety plan. 
 
However, Hampleman feels the session with Grossman could help them find areas to improve.
 
"It's kind of amazing to hear the statistics," said Hampleman.  
 
Another area that Grossman focuses on is violent video games. He also helped co-author a book on the issue called "Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill."
 
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