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Kentucky students offer solutions for protecting schools against gun violence

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Student relaxes after school

The students separated their recommendations into three phases: before, during, and after the incident. Three proposals were made for preventing school shootings.

The students suggested increasing school intervention and requiring background and mental health checks before purchasing a firearm. As well, they promoted the STOP Tipline, an anonymous place for students to report questionable behavior that is already available in all Kentucky schools. According to the Student Advisory Council, "66% of [school shooters] were engaged in concerning behaviors prior to the attack that went unreported.”

During active shooter situations, the students stressed that preparedness is everything, asking ”what if the school shooter is right next to you?" They recommended more realistic active shooter drills that integrate first responders and possible even actors into the simulation.

Their recommendations for handling the aftermath of a school shooting focused on providing resources for students to heal from the trauma. Additionally, they suggested the creation of a notification system to improve communication between schools, students, and parents during emergencies.

According to Matt Robbins, superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, ”we have [a notification system] that we feel like we can improve and get better at. I think that’s one of the things that [the Student Advisory Council] earmarked as a solution that we’re in progress on.”

The students hope state lawmakers will consider their recommendations when they reconvene in February.

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