International school safety expert talks about reducing school violence

Hundreds of educators, support staff and first responders from around the Tri-States packed Quincy Senior High school's theater Friday. Why?

They were being taught school safety by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman.

He is the only law enforcement trainer that is certified in all 50 states.

Col. Grossman is a former West Point psychology professor, a Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger. Lt Col Grossman is an expert in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.

"The Jonesboro massacre happened in my hometown, I was there after Jonesboro, I was there after Columbine, I was there after Virginia Tech and many of the other ones," Lt. Col Grossman said.

His message today states we can protect our youth but we have to be proactive.

"Children are hundreds and hundreds of times more likely to be killed by violence than they are by fire, we have fire sprinklers, fire exits, fire alarms, fire drills, but too often we refuse to do anything to prepare for violence because we just don't want to think about it and that's denial," Lt. Col Grossman said.

Grossman says denial can lead to more violence. But he also says taking steps now can prevent that.

"There are simple things we can do to keep our kids safe that begins with recognizing the threat," Lt. Col Grossman said.

For example, locking doors and also putting laminate on windows.

Laminated glass stays bonded together when shattered. He says both examples cost next to nothing and can be done very easily.

Lt. Col also says you should limit children TMs exposure to technology. In his presentation, he talks about video games.

One educator said the presentation made him rethink his school TMs current policy.

"School security is one of it not the most important thing on our agenda on any given day because if we can't keep people safe and we can't have people feeling comfortable in the place that they are going to attend school, then it TMs hard to educate, Mark McDowell, principal of Quincy Notre Dame High School, said. We can protect our youth but we have to be proactive.