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Goodwin announces school safety summit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin will host a school safety summit next month to bring education leaders and law enforcement together to discuss how to prevent school violence.

The event, which is slated for Feb. 6 at the Culture Center, will focus on how to identify potentially violent situations in schools, in addition to how to prepare school officials and first responders for "the unthinkable," according to a news release issued Thursday.

"The tragedy last month at Sandy Hook Elementary was heartbreaking, and it's still very much on all our minds," Goodwin said, referring to the Dec. 14 massacre at a Connecticut school in which 20 children and six adults were killed. "This summit is a chance to develop specific steps that we can take, right now, at the local level, to prevent school violence and to be as prepared as possible."

Three panels of in-state experts will work to develop a set of school safety recommendations for the education and law enforcement communities. Members on those panels include Mark Manchin, executive director of the West Virginia School Building Authority, and representatives from the State Police and the Department of Education.

International mass-shooting and violence expert, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, will speak. Grossman, a former psychology professor at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., and a Pulitzer Prize nominee who helped in the wake of the Columbine High School and Virginia Tech shootings, will speak at 9:30 a.m.

State Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares also will speak during the morning event.

The summit starts at 9 a.m. and is open to the public. To register, visit www.wvsafeschools.org. For more information, call Deanna Eder at 304-345-2200.

Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.mays@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.


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