Assistant Secretary Frank Brogan on School Safety

School violence is not a new problem. We
have been dealing with school violence probably since schools have been created.
It was almost 35 years ago when, in fact, I confronted a student in a middle
school, while assistant principal there, who was fully armed and ultimately ended up
in a confrontation with that student in the morning before classes even began.
That student was going through issues that are probably difficult for most
people to comprehend and was acting out on those issues in a way where it was
obvious that that student either wanted to do harm to self and/or others on that
particular morning. Fortunately, as a result of the confrontation and as a
result of the conversation that took place in the middle of it and ultimately
by virtue of the fact that I was able to disarm the student, no harm came to
anyone. That had a satisfactory result and the student ultimately received the
kind of support and services that that student needed in order to deal with the
real issues that had been brought to school on that particular morning. So in
dealing with all of that, my own personal experience included, it is obvious to me
that we can never stop the quest for how to ultimately eradicate these tragedies
on our school campuses to make certain that we interact and get involved before
these things get to the point of going off in a series of multiple tragedies
where people’s sons and daughters are lost. And, we of course want our parents –
our moms and dads to know that when their students go off to school they’re
going to get them back in the same state that they sent them off that day and
feel good and feel comfortable that school safety is being taken care of
throughout the course of a student’s year. These are all important and
practical – I think – issues that we deal with in the world of school safety. But
it is complicated. But nothing is more important.

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