By Kym Gable

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In board rooms, at dinner tables, on social media, the passionate national debate rages on over how to effectively protect children at school.

Districts all over the region are dealing with the challenges of how far to go and how to come up with the funding. They’re also holding meetings, workshops and sessions for parents.

The North Allegheny School District held a School Safety Information Night on Monday.

“You know, might we want to consider school resource officers, might we want to look at metal detectors, might we want to look at additional mental health resources,” said Robert Scherrer, the district’s superintendent. “So, we’re exploring all those options to figure out what’s appropriate for us.”

Educators, administrators, the district’s three police chiefs, along with counselors and a contracted safety expert talked to parents about the measures the district has taken to improve building security, train teachers, address threats and deal with potential mental and emotional issues.

“In addition to talking to the parents, you do really need to talk to the kids,” said parent Emily Skopov. “‘Cause, right now, children feel very scared about what’s going on. It would probably be really reassuring for children to know how much was being done on behalf of their safety.”

Lisa Washington’s Report:

The district has spent more than $2 million on security upgrades, including camera systems, panic alarms and new door locks.

And INPAX Academy of Personal Protection, in conjunction with the district, is holding a parent workshop on Monday, March 28, at Carson Middle School.

INPAX Founder and CEO Sam Rosenberg says he believes parent training is just as vital as teacher training. He says it’s important to spot warning signs.

“The second is to have a certain degree of confidence that these educators are incredibly courageous people, and they are willing to stand in front of a killer for their kids,” said Rosenberg. “The thing is they want to understand what to do when they get there. If they have no choice but to fight back in the event the lockdown fails or in the event the life guards on are on their way, they need to know how to swim. They want to have that information.”

At the workshop, parents will be exposed to the same critical incident response essentials that school staff experience.

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