By DON O'BRIENHerald-Whig Staff Writer
The way Dan Arns sees it, a little bit of prevention could go a long way.
Arns, a Quincy Public Schools security supervisor, hopes a seminar on school safety just before the school year kicks off will help keep area schools safe. Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman will present "Safe Schools and Healthy Students" Aug. 15 to a group of more than 300 educators and law enforcement officials at the Quincy High School auditorium. Arns is helping coordinate the event.
"With what is happening in schools nationwide, it never hurts to get our teachers as much exposure as we can," he said.
Grossman is retired from the U.S. Army and bills himself as one of the world's foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime. He is a former West Point psychology professor, a professor of military science and a former Army Ranger. The author of four books, Grossman has presented to more than 100 colleges and universities worldwide. He was given his presentation on school safety in all 50 states and more than a dozen foreign countries.
Grossman's presentation is not open to the public. Organizers want to keep it to school employees and law enforcement only. He will present the school safety portion of his talk between 8 a.m. and noon. After a lunch break, law enforcement will hear his talk about the "bulletproof mind" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
"We are trying to get educators, custodians, cooks, really everybody to think twice about ‘What if?' " Arns said. "We don't want to alarm anyone, but we want them to be prepared for the worst. If you put your head in the sand, (school violence) isn't just going to go away."
Forty-five school shootings resulted in 27 deaths and 53 injuries across the United States during the 2013-14 school year.
The seminar is free. It is being sponsored by the Quincy Public Schools, the Quincy Police Department and the West Central Illinois Criminal Justice Council.
To register, contact the Quincy Public Schools security office at 217-228-4084 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is Friday, Aug. 8.