Gov. Bevin, other officials attend federal school safety meeting in Lexington
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin joined state and federal leaders in Lexington Tuesday to explore ways to increase school safety for students.
The U.S. Dept of Education is hosting the event at the Council on State Governments in Lexington. It's part of a national effort to address the crisis of school violence.
President Donald Trump formed the Federal Commission on School Safety after deadly shootings in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed.
The shooting at Marshal County High School in January left two dead, and more than a dozen injured. It's one reason President Trump formed the Commission on School Safety
The Commission's stop in Lexington is part of what it calls a nationwide "listening tour."
Deputy U.S. Education Secretary Mick Zais was there. He said it's a concern everywhere he goes, "Across the country, students, parents, educators are concerned that similar events could unfold within their schools.
Bevin called violence in schools a "national epidemic" that needs to be addressed. He and other officials spent Tuesday brainstorming ideas to keep schools safe, even beyond securing school buildings.
Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars says training stopped a bad situation from becoming even worse. He said, "We had our students trained, we had our teachers trained, we had our first responders trained, we had our parents trained. "
Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis is encouraging the use of more school resource officers, not just for law enforcement but for building relationships and preventing violence for everyone in a school. "To being one of the additional adults in the building that kids have that they can go to, when they have problems," he said.
Bevin says some of the problems are fueled by troubled kids who are desensitized to violence by behavioral drugs and video games.
"There are susceptible young minds on psychotropic drugs who are depressed and who might think and react differently. And when you have a video game the sole purpose of which encourages you to slaughter people," Bevin explained.
Senator Danny Carroll, who represents Marshall County and is part of state committee studying school violence, also took part in Tuesday's listening session.
"The more information that we can gather together on each one of these factors, I think the better prepared we're going to be in January to perhaps propose legislation to move us forward in this area," said Carroll.
There's no timeline yet as to when the commission will release its recommendations.
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