MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Faculty from nearly 50 area schools came to Middletown Area High School on Tuesday to receive training from the U.S. Secret Service about how to handle targeted violence in schools.
“I will always tell them it’s not a 100 percent safe, no place is, but we’re doing our best,” principal Michael Karnes said.
Tuesday’s training equipped more than 130 educators and administrators from the 10th congressional district with tools to combat targeted violence.
“They’re going to be learning some of the techniques that the Secret Service uses and it’s a very specific program that has been developed over time,” U.S. Rep. Scott Perry said.
The threat assessment model was created by the Secret Service after the Columbine shooting in 1999.
“We want to use our knowledge from our expertise, from our experience, and from our research to be able to provide the community that level of comfort and confidence,” Secret Service special agent James Henry said.
Educators were trained on detecting warning signs like isolated behaviors, posts and comments.
“I think you’ll see, in most cases, that somebody knew that this person was exhibiting some type of behavior and they did not necessarily report it,” Henry said.
The flags outside the training were lowered to half-staff, just days after two mass shootings claimed the lives of over 20 people. Perry says this is not the time for fear but for education.
“If this seminar, these proceedings today advert one tragedy in our community, it’s worth the time and the effort, and I think that gives everybody some peace of mind that we’re working on it and there are some things that can be done,” Perry said.