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February 20, 2013

Grossman addresses school violence at two-day conference

DUNCAN —  

“The kids in school are more likely to kill by violence than any other possible cause of death put together,” Retired Lt. Col. Dave Grossman said. “That is a failure. That is an absolute failure on society’s part. So we begin the systematic process of preparing for violence like we prepare for fire.” 
Grossman was brought in by the Stephens County District Attorney’s Office to present to area law enforcement, educators and businesses “Lessons from Jonesboro, Littleton, and Vietnam: How Kids are Learning to Kill and Learning to Like It.” The conference held Tuesday and Wednesday at New Hope Baptist Church focused on what area leaders can do ensure the safety of students and what leaders can do to prepare for tragic instances of school violence.
“We focused on keeping the kids safe and what we can do,” Grossman said. “Not a single kid has been killed by school fire in over 50 years in America but every year, dozens of kids are killed by school violence. The Department of Justice tells us in 1997 we had 57 dead by violence in our school. In 2006, we had 63 killed by violence in our school. How many were killed by fire that year? We must prepare for violence like firefighters prepares for fire. We have fire sprinklers, fire exits, fire alarms, fire trucks, fire drills, and fire hydrants. But what do we do for violence?”
Grossman said that students have to be taught what to do in an emergency situation and teachers have to learn preparation techniques that will allow them to appear calm in the middle of violent attacks.
“Schools have got to keep the exterior doors locked,” he said. “They have to keep their interior doors locked, keep their classroom doors locked. They have to have done lock down drills. They have to prepared for the possibility.”

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