County superintendent announces plan for safer schools
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced Friday a plan to help keep kids stay safer in school.
Carvalho and his staff addressed and emphasized that violence is not just a problem for the schools involved but also concerns the neighborhoods that surround and feed into the school.
Carvalho also agreed that the issue at hand is not simple, and the solutions won't be either. "I think we are reminded way too often, through these dramatic occurrences that we're seeing happening, that there is a culture of violence that's so pervasive in America today," Carvalho said.
Carvalho said the time has come to curb violence among the younger generation. "We need to take a three-pronged approach," Carvalho said.
The superintendent said this approach is composed of safety, intervention and working with the community. "Our random metal detector program will continue to be expanded," Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian Moffett said.
Metal detector checks will be doubled, according to Carvalho. "They don't know when we're coming or how often or what part of the county," Carvalho said.
The hiring of 18 new police officers will also go into effect, along with a firearm-detecting police dog and teacher training by the American Psychiatric Association. "Conflict resolution, that is the main focus of many of our students in our schools. Learning how to resolve conflicts, healthy ways," said school psychologist Frank Zenere.
"It is not lost to us, that whether we're talking about Newtown, Connecticut or the Naval Yard incident, these were individuals who had demonstrated, according to media reports, early signs of behavioral issues that could've, or should've, been detected," Carvalho said.
In the end, Carvalho said it is likely a long, one-child-at-a-time journey. "I have attended far too many funerals; in fact, since I became superintendent, over 40 funerals for children who have died in our school system," Carvalho said.
Other steps in Carvalho's plan is to educate parents and children to call an anonymous hotline whenever they know about the presence of a weapon on campus and to start working with the Department of Children and Families to see if more can be done with the family and parents when a weapon ends up on school property.
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