09/06/2019- Earlier this week we reported on how local law enforcement is responding to an apparent increase in mass violence nationwide, including within schools, but now we’re taking a look at what school administrators have to say about the issue, or whether they feel there is an issue at all. Pat Mans is the District Administrator of the Crivitz School District and says they’re working to maintain the balance between preparing for potential threats and offering a welcoming environment that fosters students’ academic and personal development. That means that while the staff at Crivitz have taken part in active shooter drills, the topic of violence isn’t necessarily being brought up in the classroom.
“It’s trying to find that balance between the actual threat or likelihood of something happening versus actually making the kids feel like school’s not a safe place to be. We certainly don’t want our students feeling that way and we believe that our buildings are safe.”
As Mans explains, much of their preparation involves preventing violent acts from occurring in the first place, which includes knowing when and how to intervene before a student ever becomes a threat to themselves or anyone else.
“Staff have had adolescent mental health training. Last year the district hired an additional guidance counselor, upping the counseling staff to three full-time counselors working with our students. The district’s administrative staff maintains ongoing two-way communication with local law enforcement and Marinette County Mental Health staff in an effort to help prevent student mental health crises.”
The bottom line, Mans says, is that schools are actually one of the safest places for children to be. He cites data from the National Safety Council which shows 100 children are killed annually in bicycle accidents and 2000 die from unintentional home injuries, while just 10 on average die as a result of gunfire at school.