Saint Leo University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Page: 71 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.0039
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
School safety is a concern of educators, parents, communities and students. When a school shooting occurs, there is an outpouring of reactions and support. Sustainability, however, seems to fade within three months of each event.

There have been 288 school shootings in the U.S. since 2009, where at least one person other than the shooter was shot (CNN, May 21, 2018). This is unacceptable and we, society at large, must take action to prevent further tragedies.

Partnerships between school district personnel, law enforcement and mental health providers has never been more critical. Collaboration with all stakeholders provide comprehensive strategies that can be applied to all schools and districts.

A study was conducted by reviewing school shootings in the U.S. specifically between 2008 and 2018. In all situations, mental health issues were questioned and identified as indicators of the violence that occurred. Research on partnerships to assist school personnel was investigated, and researchers found that violence prevention was successful when mental health workers, educators and police authorities worked together in planning measures both to prevent violence, and in dealing with results of violence. Dealing with mental health issues of students in a caring and proactive manner, so that situations are resolved before a student brings a gun to school, is a critical component of an effective school safety plan.

Other countries have initiated programs that have reduced gun violence. The U.S. government has begun to review options through various committees established. Partnerships with mental health workers, educators and police authorities would benefit the government personnel in developing successful intervention programs.

State and Federal tax dollars need to be prioritized for identifying and treating issues of mental health. Monies would be well-spent on taking care of student’s needs, which requires a cadre of assessment, intervention and support for students.

We need all politicians and government officials to pay attention to the needs of students, personnel and school districts when allocating funds for education. Students need to learn, teachers need to teach and all need to be in a safe environment.

Action must be taken, and now. Not one more student or stakeholder in a school setting should lose his or her life protecting students from a shooter on campus.
Collaboration, school safety.