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This week’s safe school snippets

Why does America lead the world in school shootings?

School shootings are far more frequent in America than in other countries, although terrible massacres have occurred in Russia, Israel, and several European nations. In the high-crime neighborhoods of inner cities, school turf is relatively safe. We have learned to harden the target and patrol with vigilance.

And even in those suburbs and small towns where spree killings have occurred, the rates, per capita, are lower now than in previous decades. School is a safe place – until, as in Chardon, Ohio, the unspeakable happens. Then, even though the risks are low, it is fair to ask, why does this still happen? Why here, in America? Read more from CNN.

‘Bully’: Bullied student campaigns for film to get PG-13 rating


“Bully,” an upcoming documentary about the nation’s teen-bullying epidemic, would exclude much of its intended school-aged audience if the Motion Picture Association of America refuses to ease its R rating, according to Katy Butler, a bullying victim who hopes to change the board’s mind.

Butler posted a petition at Change.org to get signatures in support of a PG-13 rating for “Bully.” By Thursday at 11:00 a.m. ET, the tally was 156,230 and counting. The film is scheduled to open in theaters March 30, according to the film’s website. Read more from ABC News.

Bullying prevention workshop addresses growing concern

Some 200 state teachers, administrators, and mental health professionals participated in a school bullying prevention workshop Thursday in Thornton. The workshop addressed new ways education professionals can foster a positive and safe climate in all Colorado schools. Read more from KUNC.org.

How to talk to kids about school shootings

Mental Health America offers the following suggestions for teachers and parents as they begin discussions with young people regarding the recent school shootings in Chardon, Ohio:

  • Talk honestly about the incident, without graphic detail, and share some of your own feelings about it. It is important that students feel informed.
  • Encourage students to talk about their concerns and to express their feelings, and validate the young person’s feelings and concerns. Read more from PsychCentral.com.

Parents: School should have reported sexual incident

HOLYOKE, Colo. – It is hard for Stefani Razo to talk about it. Before the very first question, the nearly 15-year-old girl started to cry. But she and her parents were adamant about wanting to share their story.

“He grabbed my hand and put it down his pants,” Razo said. “I tried to pull away from him but he wouldn’t let me.” Read more from 9news.com.

Littleton Schools’ spending focuses on safety

Back in the day, Littleton Public Schools had the luxury of spending capital funds on “facility enhancements” to spruce things up a bit, Superintendent Scott Murphy said during the Feb. 23 school board meeting — but today it’s all about asset preservation and the health and safety of students.

“This represents we-need-to-get-this-done-now types of things,” said Jim Woods, operations manager, after presenting the list of projects his department has set as priorities.

Although the total need tops $50 million, just about $2.6 million will be available in the 2012-13 budget. Read more from the Centennial Citizen.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.