Dori: OSPI chief explains what Washington’s schools are doing to prevent gun violence

May 25, 2022, 5:39 PM | Updated: 5:52 pm
(Thomas Def/Unsplash)...
(Thomas Def/Unsplash)
(Thomas Def/Unsplash)

As details continue to unfold in Tuesday’s Uvalde, Texas carnage that took the lives of 19 fourth graders and two teachers after a lone 18-year-old gunman shot up their school classroom, many questions are emerging.

In Washington state, like other parts of the country, news coverage of the mass murder has parents and students, in particular, anxious and asking about students’ safety here, The Dori Monson Show told listeners Wednesday.

“There are monsters who walk in our midst,” Dori said. And yet, he continued, “statistically, schools continue to be one of the safest places for youth to be.”

Then what should local parents and students know about school safety in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde? Dori asked.

For starters, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal told Dori’s listeners on Wednesday, it is a “moment to mourn. We all need to grapple with this.

“Two: we have some of the best safety protocols in the country,” the schools’ chief continued. “We are a state that, like many others, has regular drills and training,” including annual safety reviews performed by each district.

Reykdal also said that Washington state makes proactive “threat assessments” a regular practice if a student is identified as a potential threat to others. This involves regional experts who draw in school personnel, mental health counselors and, if necessary, law enforcement, he added.

These threat assessments involve “a deep level of evidence that warrants a call to a regional coordinator,” the superintendent told Dori. This might include “online imagery or an online threat or maybe something a counselor has identified,” he added.

“There is an expert in every region that can pull a team together to meet with students and families,” Reykdal explained. “We’re usually intervening well before there is any actual violence.”

And while school shootings grab the headlines, Reykdal continued, they are “still exceedingly rare” – especially when compared to the number of youth “suicides by guns in their own home.”

A 2021 analysis of childhood suicide data between 2013 and 2017 found that guns were the second most prevalent suicide method used by kids 5 to 11 years old, according to The Trace, a non-profit journalism group focusing on gun violence. In almost every case, the study cites, children got the gun from their home.

“Securing our firearms,” Reykdal said, “could save far, far more lives.”

Learn more about Washington state’s School Safety Center.

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

The AI chatbots have drawn increased interest during the global virus pandemic, which has led to a ...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Google engineer explains how AI chatbot shows sentient side, might have a soul

Cognitive and computer science expert Blake Lemoine boldly told his employer that the machine showed a sentient side and might have a soul.
5 days ago
Follow @
Dori Monson

Dori: Parkland dad protecting preschool daughter during attempted carjacking gets shot in mouth

Adrenalin, parental instincts and lessons learned from his dad kicked into overdrive at the start of Matthew Phillips’s Father’s Day weekend when an attempted carjacker pulled a rifle on him and his 3-year-old daughter in Pierce County.
7 days ago
Photo by Samuel Corum...
Dori Monson

Dori: Local gun stores ‘busy as all get out’ as firearm debates rage nationwide

With two weeks to go before Washington state enacts tougher gun laws, at least one local firearms retailer says stores like hers are seeing “a buying rush.”
10 days ago
Dori Monson

Dori: Bellingham dad upset with transgender books for preschoolers: ‘let kids be kids’

Bellingham parent Christopher Morris believes preschool should be a time of life when adults need to let “kids be kids.”
11 days ago
Photo by Noah Riffe...
Dori Monson

Dori: Seattle Police guild president calls slower response times a `crisis’ that local leaders ‘don’t grasp’

At a time when the number of police on Seattle streets keeps dropping and crime is rising, response times to life-threatening cases continue to climb
12 days ago
Footage from Ring camera showing a lit flare about to be thrown into the building after window was ...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: `Somebody tried to burn our building down,’ Olympia lawmaker says

Barkis said that “whoever did this had clear intent, clear motive ... these people had the intent of burning my building down.”
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Dori: OSPI chief explains what Washington’s schools are doing to prevent gun violence