How have Valley schools prepared to protect their students? - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

How have Valley schools prepared to protect their students?

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Local superintendents are watching the latest school shooting in Florida very closely.

"A lot of times people say are you prepared? And what have you done to be prepared for this? Well you're never prepared for this," said Liberty Superintendent Joe Nohra.

Nohra said all districts have emergency plans in place and they practice those drills.

In their case, they plan for a rapid response by police. Tests of that system have put officers on the district's campus in just 15 to 20 seconds.

But he questions if districts need to do more.

"Whether it's arming teachers or metal detectors, I don't know where it's going to go. But I think we're getting to the point where whatever we're doing right now isn't working," said Nohra.

In Austintown, the district has eight armed officers on campus, including one in each building on a normal day.

Superintendent Vince Colaluca said it's about protection, but also about students connecting and communicating with police.

"We want to know if there is any type of rumors out there, anybody that's really feeling bad, a friend that's said something inappropriate, kind of joking around that really make you feel uncomfortable," said Colaluca.

Both school superintendents believe mental health is a key component that needs to be addressed.

"One problem in America is we don't have the support we need. Our guidance counselors are great guidance counselors, but they're academic guidance counselors," said Colaluca.

"How do you find somebody who is going to do this? How do you get to them before they do something like this? Hopefully, we can get to that point and we can understand what triggers this type of behavior," said Nohra.

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