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Staff at Springfield Local Schools learn to identify potential school threats

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NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - Between 1992 and 2010 348 people were killed in school shootings.

That number has only risen in recent years and months, motivating school districts to train its employees to spot and stop potential shooters.

"Obviously the more educated you are the better prepared you are and we hope we will be able to circumvent any problems that might occur in the school," said Springfield High School Principal Anthony DeFelice.

Administrators and teachers at Springfield Local Schools underwent Active Shooter Training for Educators on Wednesday.

It's a program put on by the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Unlike a mock drill, which trains people how to respond to shooters once they enter a school, this program teaches school staff how to spot potential threats, which could be hinted at within a student's course work or behavior.

Springfield Local Schools has school resource officers to help identify some of those warning signs. Although, New Middletown Police Chief Vincent D'Egidio says it's critical for administrators and teachers to also be able to recognize those.

"This is absolutely the first step in any type of mitigation. Identification and then the response because the information that we receive from the school administration and the instructors are going to gauge the response of law enforcement later on down the road," said Chief D'Egidio.

The hope is that after teachers identify potential threats or changes in behavior, such as a student acting out or withdrawing from social interactions that they will be able to intervene before the problems escalate into something serious that would require law enforcement to step in.

"It is not necessarily just preventing the active shooter, but it is more so taking care of our kids, making sure they get the help that they need," said Daniel Boerner a training officer with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Springfield Local Schools is the only school district within Mahoning County to have completed the training.

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