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Conference To Focus On School Violence

How safe is your neighborhood school? Would reaction time be quick enough to avert a tragedy if violence suddenly occurred? Can dangerous situations actually be prevented?

These are some of the issues to be discussed in a multidisciplinary conference, which will be held March 27-28 at the Del Lago Conference Center near Conroe. "Confronting School Violence: Making Schools Safe" addresses the needs of administrators, educators, and law enforcement professionals who must coordinate their efforts to deal effectively with school violence.

Gene Blair "This conference was planned long before the recent school shooting incidents, which are unfortunate but timely reminders that this problem has a long way to go before being solved," said Gene Blair of The Institute for Law Enforcement Training at Sam Houston State University, one of the co-sponsors of the training.

"The California (Santee) school had taken a number of recommended precautions, and yet it was not enough," he added. "We must try to learn what we can from each incident and work together in community partnerships."

Region 6 Education Service Center, which provides continuing professional development for personnel in over 50 school districts in its area, is also a co-sponsor of the conference.

School districts are encouraged to send teams, which include a central office administrator, campus administrator, and a senior law enforcement or security administrator.

During the two-day conference educators and law enforcement officials from Florida, California, and Texas will talk about getting to the underlying causes of threats to school safety, planning and conducting emergency preparedness drills, effective media communications, verbal de-escalation techniques, and new curricula available to help students recognize the consequences of their actions. Students from the New Waverly High School Drug Awareness Team will perform a skit about a violent situation in a school setting.

Registration for the conference is underway. For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at Sam Houston State University at 936.294.3869.

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SHSU Media Contact:Julia May
March 14, 2001
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