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NC State Looking at Ways to Prevent Violence in Schools

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State officials are looking for ways to protect children from violence in schools.
RALEIGH — Upon hearing about the shooting tragedy ina Kentucky school Monday, many are concerned about protecting theirchildren here in the Triangle. WRAL-TV5 Education ReporterYvonne Simonstalked withNorth Carolina's Center for the Prevention of School Violence on the NorthCarolina State University Campus, where experts are looking into thematter.

Dr. Pam Riley works at the center. She says NC is pro-active when itcomes to violence prevention. By way of comparison, Ky schools don'thave required safe school plans, but NC does. State law here requiresindividual schools to put plans into action when a dangerous situationarises.

The Center says no school can be completely free of risk if a studentdecides to solve problems with a weapon, but research indicates thepresence of a school resource officer like the ones in a Durham MiddleSchool is a first line of defense in protecting children at school. Theofficers get to know the children and listen in on the student grapevine for hints of trouble.

The NC Department of Public Instruction's last state school violencereport showed extremely violent incidents, such as assault with weapons,gun possession, and teacher assault. All were down from the previoustwo-year period.

The NC Director of Safe Schools says violence often starts insmall doses and in fighting. To attack violence problems at that level, many middle and high schools have conflict mediation teams which helpstudents work out their problems.

A 1994 Rand Corporation report on student behavior and achievementsays it's what happens at home that most influences a child's behavior.Parents need to lead the way in teaching their children that aggressionrarely solves problems and creates many, many more.

Reporter:Yvonne Simons