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The Commonwealth

Law enforcement officers in Richmond to discuss safety in Kentucky Schools


Law enforcement officers and officials are in Richmond this week to talk about ways to improve safety in Kentucky’s schools. School safety is in the forefront after the shooting in Uvalde Texas nearly a month ago.

One of the keynote speakers at this week’s Kentucky Center for School Safety is no stranger to school shootings. Frank DeAngelis was the principal of Columbine High School during the attack there. He said there are big changes that need to take place for lasting change.

Frank DeAngelis
Stan Ingold
retired Columbine High School Principal Frank DeAngelis

“First place to go is gun control. That’s an area we have to look at, I think legislators now, on both sides of the aisle are look at some of our gun laws. You also have to look at the role of finding help for these kids, not that every one that has mental illness is going to commit mass murder, but there are kids crying out for help,” DeAngelis said.

Jon Akers is the executive director of the KCSS. He said there is one area specifically where they are putting a heavy emphasis and that is mental health.

“ Where they are within themselves, and what issues are they dealing with, the traumas that they have. It knows no socio-economic category. Kids one end of the continuum to kids at the other end of the continuum all are having the same problems, being traumatized in some form or fashion.”

Akers said officers will also be taking part in multiple sessions about the role of social media in the lives of young people. They will also be looking at the development and function of a school-based threat assessment team.

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