School Violence Down in Pa. Districts

LUZERNE, Pa. — The number of reported incidents in Luzerne County’s 11 public school districts has fallen from 1,095 in the 1999-2000 school year to 663 in 2010-2011.

District superintendents claimed the decrease in violence, aside from fighting, can be attributed to the installation of security cameras, the implementation of dress codes and a recommitment to student safety in the wake of the April 1999 shooting massacre at Columbine High School, The Citizens’ Voice reports. A machete attack on Feb. 9 that nearly cost a student his hand has also caused school administrators to focus on safety.

Administrators have taken a multi-pronged approach to pre-empting school violence. Students are being encouraged to report threats, faculty have received training in recognizing at-risk students and security officers have been authorized to search for weapons.

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