Workshop for local administrators aims to end violence on school campuses

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Attacks on school campuses across America have become an all too common occurrence.

In an effort to prevent this type of violence local administrators came together in northwest Fresno Tuesday for a workshop designed to assess student threats.

"I'm training these folks on how to train their folks and their folks are other principals, teachers and counselors," said John Van Dreal, the workshop instructor.

John Van Dreal travels all around the country, teaching administrators and law enforcement officers how to improve classroom safety.

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In light of the recent deadly shooting in Southern California, schools and parents remain on high alert.

The goal of the workshop was to look for indicators in a student's behavior before it reaches a lethal level -- as it did at Saugus High School.

"These trainings not only identify the risk factors that suggest someone is planning on a violent attack, but it also reviews the strategies that keep it from happening to bring that kid back in," Van Dreal said.

Many administrators told Action News they now feel better prepared on how to teach staff members what to look for when dealing with the potential threat of violence. They also learned techniques on how to mitigate it after taking part in the three-day workshop.

"I see that not only for the teachers but also for my classified staff, my custodian, my bus driver, cook everybody. The training has been amazing," said Elizabeth Runyan, the superintendent of Burrel Union Elementary School District.

About 80 people took part in the workshop, which wraps up on Wednesday.
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