NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Only 45 days into the year and there have already been several shootings at school campuses across the country.
One of the latest shootings happened in North Texas at Italy High School in January.
“As a mom, that’s your worst nightmare,” said parent Hollie Abraham.
Several died and many others were injured after investigators said a former student, who was expelled, walked into his old high school in Parkland, Florida and opened fire.
“You always want to protect your babies and things like this unfortunately are out of your control,” said Abraham.
Whether it is in South Florida or North Texas, the impact of the shootings is far reaching.
“A school shooting affects every body,” said Tom Kelley, a school safety specialist with Texas State University. “You immediately think, what’s going on in my school? The fact that someone can go into a school or outside of a school and start shooting is a reality now.”
Using information gathered through his latest school district audit report, Kelley said the first main area of concern for improvement is keeping unauthorized people out of the school.
“I hear all the time, ‘How did that person get a gun at the school?’ (They) carried it in. I mean you know, it’s not hard,” said Kelley.
He said all Texas schools could do better at making sure those who do not belong, do not get into the school.
Kelley also said schools need to have an efficient emergency operations plan.
Finally, schools need to practice their plan.
“Find out what works and doesn’t work,” said Kelley.
He also believes there needs to be some sort of behavioral threat assessment team working with students who show troubling behavior prior to any mass violence.