School safety group told bullying the root of many problems - WFLA News Channel 8

School safety group told bullying the root of many problems

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First meeting of school safety group First meeting of school safety group

Shortly after the Newtown tragedy, Gov. Pat McCrory created a school safety task force. On Wednesday, it had its first meeting -- ironically on the day when the Newtown 911 tapes were released.

The board members will spend the next two years looking at ways to make schools safer, with options ranging from adding more physical security to finding better ways to use school resource officers.

But there's one overriding issue that trumps all others.

"This task force has a mandate and a mission from the governor and from people at the forums, to help others understand and put into action prevention and intervention," said Frank Perry, secretary of Public Safety.

The task force was told the majority of school violence is rooted in bullying.

"Seventy-five per cent of kids that did school shootings said the reason they did shootings was because they wanted to retaliate for being bullied," said Billy Lassiter, the director of juvenile community programs. "If we can cut out the bullying, we can cut out the school shootings."

At Raleigh's Wakefield High School, this happens to be anti-bullying week, where teachers pay special attention to the problem.

Laura Inscoe, dean of counseling and student services, said the students go through different scenarios that actually happened in high schools. Then the students are asked how they would handle each of those situations.

The school also has an anti-bullying club and focuses on making sure parents can detect signs of bullying.

 "A lot of it just takes a conversation from an adult to open the doors -- or the floodgates --- so we can know exactly what is going on," Inscoe said.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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