BURRELL (KDKA) — The Burrell School District says they want to be proactive instead of reactive. They’re implementing a program that they believe will prevent school shootings. It’s a program that they’re learning from a woman who lost her son in a school shooting.
“I went looking for a solution because I knew what had happened to him was 100% preventable,” said Scarlett Lewis the creator of the Choose Love Movement Creator.
Scarlett Lewis lost her son Jesse, a first-grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. He was six years old.
She tells KDKA, while she was at home in Newtown, Connecticut, she noticed a message her son wrote before he was murdered.
It was just three words: nurturing, healing and love. Words that inspired Lewis to create “The Choose Love Enrichment Program.”
“Learning how to have positive, healthy relationships. How to manage our emotions, how to be resilient with issues we all face. These are essential life skills. We’re not born with them, we have to learn them,” said Lewis.
“It was the first time in my 20 years that I felt finally this was a solution,” said Carla Roland, Safe Schools Coordinator.
Carla Roland is the Safe Schools Coordinator and Assistant High School Principal for the Burrell School District, she says they’re the first in the state to start the program.
“Instead of just hardening our schools we are strengthening our people and in my opinion, that is really where the power is,” said Roland.
“We want to encourage empathy, forgiveness, courage and a willingness and a drive,” said Marissa Ameris, Social and Emotional Learning Specialist.
The program begins when students are in Pre-K and ends when they graduate high school.
It’s already in schools across the U.S. and in other countries.