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Buff State discussion on school violence to look beyond gun debate

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

SUNY Buffalo State will be hosting a special forum this week to discuss issues on school violence as debate continues since the Parkland, Florida shootings.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the college's School of Education will lead a discussion Thursday, 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

"Try to come up with some comprehensive ways that we could address this gun violence problem,” said Nanci Monaco, associate professor of Elementary Education and a licensed psychologist at Buffalo State.

Monaco took the lead in creating this week's discussion “Perspectives on School Violence”. It will be held this Thursday at 4:30 in the Bulger Communications Center on campus. 

Monaco tells WBFO News she's has been researching the topic since the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Colorado. This week's discussion will look at a variety of alternatives to help resolve the issue, but it’s not about debating guns.

“There are some things about school shooters that I think people don’t realize. It’s frequently talked about that there are students who were bullied and actually they’re not really bullied at a rate that’s much higher   than the population in general, the research suggests, but their response to the bullying tends to be one of ruination of thinking that guns would be a solution to their pain for example,” Monaco described.

Thursday's discussion will feature Monaco and six other faculty and staff experts.  School of Education Dean Wendy Paterson will moderate the panel.

The forum will explore the many complexities that they say lead to school violence, including what is known about school shooters to the importance of peer disclosure and intervening to prevent a shooting.

“If this is what one of the cases where most warning signs were probably there, compared to Columbine or Newtown, and it was missed what, could be done differently in the future,” Monaco explained.  “We want people to go get mental health treatment. We want them to feel comfortable that their quest for getting help is not going to be use against them.

Buffalo State’s School of Education train future teachers. They want to make sure they understand how to deal with this difficult issue threatening classrooms across the country. 

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