School safety focus of county meeting held in Greencastle

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Greencastle was host to law enforcement officials from all over Franklin County last week for a program aimed at school safety.

The Franklin County District Attorney's Office hosted the one-day seminar Aug. 7 titled "Lessons from Jonesboro, Littleton, and Vietnam: How Kids are Learning to Kill and Learning to Like It" by Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman (Ret.). The daylong training/presentation was held in the auditorium of the Greencastle-Antrim High School, and was organized through the cooperative efforts of the Franklin County Police Chiefs Association.  

Grossman is one of the foremost authorities on school violence and school shootings, said Matthew D. Fogal, Franklin County District Attorney.  He presented compelling data and strategies to local law enforcement officers from all Franklin County law enforcement agencies, and local Franklin County school officials as well, with the intent of promoting and ensuring school safety. The training was conducted in the continued spirit of “One Team, One Fight”, so that school districts and law enforcement will work in a cooperative fashion and lean forward to effectively deter violent crime.  

Six officers from the Greencastle Police Department attended.

"Grossman is one of the most phenomenal speakers I have heard," said Greencastle police chief John Phillippy. "I have heard him before which was part of what prompted him to be brought here. Everything he presented is relevant. Greencastle-Antrim School District is no different than Columbine the day before the shootings. All schools need to learn from the problems of the past."

Grossman, one of the world's leading experts on the causes of violent crime, is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill. He has testified before US Senate and US Congressional committees, and has written numerous encyclopedia entries on the subject of violence and aggression. 

He provided training to school and mental health professionals in the aftermath of the Jonesboro, Ark., school killing, was a consultant in the trial of the Paducah, Kentucky school killing, and trained emergency, police and civic groups in the aftermath of the Springfield, Oregon, and Littleton, Colorado school killings. Grossman is a former Professor of Psychology and Military Science at West Point.  He has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for publications on his research, and has also done independent reviews of numerous school violence incidents, including Columbine and Virginia Tech.