No improvement in number of school shootings

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline/GNU image
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline/GNU image

LONGMEADOW, Mass (WWLP) – New data is showing little improvement in the number of school shootings in our nation.

Recent statistics from the National School Safety Center show that there has been little reduction in U.S. school shootings since the mid-to late 1990′s.

This academic year alone, there has been at least 11 school shootings across the country.

“But, yea, I don’t even know what to think, I don’t know what can be done.  But it’s…. really scary,” Lorrie Lemieux, a dance teacher from Springfield, told 22News about her fears for her students daily safe.

The American Federation of Teachers reports 90 percent of school districts have tightened their school security and revamped their policies since the December 2012 Newtown shooting.

Some of those expanded measures include adding metal detectors, security cameras, requiring staff I.D. badges, and upping lockdown drills.

Police departments nationwide have also adopted “active shooter” policies and training sessions since the Sandy hook tragedy.

Some Western Mass. school districts told 22news they’ve also worked to create a healthy school culture, by encouraging students to talk to faculty or family about their concerns.

Some parents in Longmeadow told 22News that having those conversations weren’t easy, but that keeping the lines of communication open is what really seemed to help comfort their kids during some of those tragic events.

“I think their biggest concern was would they continue to be safe?  And we assured that they would, but to always be aware,” Liz Leshine, mother of two, from Longmeadow, said.

According to the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and pensions committee, a recent deal in Congress now provides 140 million dollars to support safer school environments. That is a nearly 30 million dollar increase in that funding.

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