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Vigilance is answer for school safety

Twice in the last two months, a potential threat has been headed off in a Western North Carolina school. In both cases, other students became aware of the situation and notified authorities …

Would either of them have carried out the threats? We don’t know. We do know that the campuses in question potentially are safer because students chose to get involved.

There has been a lot of talk about how to make schools safer in the wake of shootings in Florida and Texas. Some suggestions are useful, some of limited value and some no help at all …

Assigning an armed officer to each school again is something that sounds good in theory but has problems in practice. Specialized training is necessary. What can that officer do if a shooter is in a crowd of students? Both the Columbine and Marjory Stoneman Douglas schools had armed officers on duty.

The worst idea floated yet is to arm teachers. That would add more weapons to the equation, wielded by people with no law-enforcement training in a milieu where it would be easy for students to overpower the teacher. …

It does not take a genius to realize that people who shoot up schools are troubled. An increase in counselors increases the chances that a potential killer will be headed away from a course of carnage …

Little can done about the student who plots in secret, but many seek attention, and this can be their undoing. Anyone — fellow student, staff member, family member — who hears about a threat of violence at a school should report it immediately.

In the case of family members, it is important to overcome any perceived stigma about seeking treatment. Taking your child to a therapist doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a parent.

The worst way to treat a potential threat is to ignore it …

— Asheville Citizen-Times

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