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The New Safe: Stories from the frontlines of school safety

BY   April 7, 2015 at 6:29 PM EDT

(GWEN) ¤W0 22 ]] C2.5 G 0 [[ GI O/C ¤W1 45 ]] C2.5 G 0 [[ *CG GFX MON #StudentReporting NOW, A UNIQUE LOOK AT SCHOOL SAFETY ISSUES... THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUNG PEOPLE. TODAY WE'RE LAUNCHING A NEW FEATURE FROM OUR NETWORK OF STUDENT REPORTING LABS -- MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM PROGRAMS AROUND THE COUNTRY. IT EXPLORES HOW THE CONCEPT OF SAFETY HAS BEEN REDEFINED SINCE THE SANDY HOOK TRAGEDY TWO YEARS AGO. OUR FIRST REPORT COMES FROM  STUDENT TELEVISION NETWORK CORRESPONDENT SYDNEY PAYNE AT CARLSBAD HIGH SCHOOL IN CALIFORNIA.

On Oct. 10, 2010, a gunman entered the premises of Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad, California, armed with a .357 magnum, a propane tank and a gas can. He fired six shots in succession and announced he was here to, “burn them all.” Students from Carlsbad High School visited the school four years later to see how it is healing.

What does it mean to feel safe and be safe at school?

newsafelogo-1000This month marks the anniversaries of the tragedies at Columbine and Virginia Tech. And while the continuous news cycle can make school shootings seem like an epidemic, below the surface, school communities are changing and rethinking ways to protect students. PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs and the Student Television Network asked scholastic broadcast journalism programs across the United States to tell their own stories. The students investigated how social media threats affect school culture, the shifting roles of armed guards, metal detectors and new entry procedures, how administrators are using technology as a safety tool, and evolving ideas about safe spaces in architecture, including the new design for Sandy Hook elementary school.

Finding a balance between school security and a comfortable learning environment is a challenge many schools face. Stay tuned as more youth reporters file stories from around the country and continue the conversation at #thenewsafe.

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