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NJ Schools Work To Avoid Ohio-Like Shooting Tragedy [AUDIO]

Jeff Swenson, Getty Images

The death toll in the Ohio High School shooting rampage is now 3, with two more students still hospitalized.

Many parents in the Garden state are worried a similar kind of violent outburst could happen here.

Mike Yaple, a spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards association says we’ve seen a lot of changes being made in Jersey schools over the past several years -it after the Columbine shooting massacre in Colorado – and as a result “school resource officers are now quite common, in every school you have extensive character education programs, schools throughout New Jersey have crisis plans, they perform multiple drills – not just fire drills, drills for active shooter, evacuation, bomb threats and lock downs, and there are programs presented on things like conflict resolution, anti-bullying, peer mediation and even dating violence programs.”

He says there’s a lot of training of teachers, and an effort “to reach out to students – to ideally prevent incidents before they occur – but also education for the student-so if they see something occurring – see something brewing- that they can report it to a trusted teacher, a counselor or someone in the school district…we’ve seen a number of potentially dangerous incidents being cut off at the pass before they occur because students will report this to a teacher or to the Principal.”

Dr. Ron Coughlin, the President of the New Jersey Violence Prevention Institute, says he’s concerned there could be copy-cats incidents – at other high schools in the coming weeks – because “it can happen anywhere, particularly when there is not attention paid to this – when people think it can’t happen.”

He says we’re moving in the right direction in Jersey, but “we do need to increase anger management training in all our schools -kindergarten to 12th grade- that’s really going to put the cap on it…it’s important because anger is at the core of all these actions – it’s all about anger- anger makes you attack or avoid…there’s no such thing as healthy anger – it’s all about healing the pain underneath…you can eliminate anger, you can teach a person to be compassionate.”

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