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The Post-Columbine Question Remains The Same: Can School Shootings Be Prevented?

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Littleton High School’s resource officer Jason Gallardo walks the hallways, greeting students and talking to them in the cafeteria.

“Hey, D-money, how’s it going? How’s ultimate Frisbee?” he called to one student on a recent day. “Don, you OK?” he asked another.

He does this so he knows the students — and it’s part of his job in threat assessment at the school. He watches out for kids who may be depressed or at risk of harming themselves or may want to harm others.

It’s been 20 years since two students opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, killing 12 students and one teacher. Since then, there have been hundreds of shootings at U.S. schools. Questions that arose in 1999 still remain: how can this be prevented?

Theories abound, from limiting access to guns, hiring more school counselors to more secure buildings. But as school shootings continue to occur, threat assessment teams — who work to understand the psychology and behavior of past shooters in order to stop future ones — have gained more attention.
 
BY  Photo: Nathaniel Minor/CPR News
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