It takes heroes to prevent school violence

The school shooting in Reno on Tuesday that left two children injured might have been much worse had it not been for the heroic actions of a teacher who talked the boy down. It will take heroes of a less dramatic nature to ensure a similar incident won't happen here.

Carson City school officials know there are no guarantees that serious cases of school violence won't happen here, but they've done many things to lessen the risk since the chilling events at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999.

They've done lockdown training within schools so teachers and students will know exactly what to do if there is violence. The district has put technology in place so teachers can quickly account for all of their students. During a drill in February, for example, teachers had the hallways cleared in just more than a minute and were able to use their computers to account for every student a short time later.

Intruder locks, alarms and cameras have been installed at schools.

But not even all of that may be enough.

The best tool available to prevent school violence is parents, teachers and the students themselves.

Parents need to be involved in their children's lives, no matter what obstacles they put forth. Find out who they're hanging out with and what they're doing. If children are depressed or acting out, parents should be telling teachers and counselors in schools.

It will take heroic acts on the part of the students themselves to keep schools safe and cut down on bullying. Years ago, telling a teacher about someone who has made threats or brought a weapon to school might have been considered tattling.

Nowadays, it's critical to keeping schools safe.


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