BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – In the wake of another school shooting in St. Louis, school staff across the Valley learned how to spot the warning signs of violence.
Phil Chalmers is from the Cleveland area and has been profiling criminals and school shootings for years. Boardman police brought him to speak at Boardman High School on Tuesday.
He outlined common warning signs of when a kid may need help, like violence towards animals, being bullied and lacking role models.
Chalmers said his goal is to prevent these scenarios from ever happening.
“We’re teaching them the causes, warning signs and triggers,” he said. “We’re going to equip them with the knowledge on how to spot violent individuals and get them help before it’s too late.”
When Boardman Police saw Phil Chalmers speak in Canton a few months ago, they knew they had to bring him to talk at Boardman schools.
The auditorium was packed with staff from local schools Tuesday morning.
Chalmers reviewed previous school shootings and talked about commonalities between the shooters. He warned of triggers or times a kid might need help, like a recent breakup or problems at home.
Boardman Police Chief Todd Werth tells me it’s all about preventing problems.
“I can’t say enough about us sitting in that room together, going through this training looking at what can we see as warning signs from the school’s perspective, our perspective,” said Chief Werth.
Shana Craig-Yardas is a counselor at Boardman high school. She tells me the presentation made her really think about if she has kids in the school she’s concerned about.
She says she’s going to be even more vigilant and use a community approach with their school resource officer.
“Our most important thing is that teachers, counselors, SROs — we all work together to try and keep as watchful an eye as possible, take care of these kids,” said Craig-Yardas.
She tells me she hopes it inspires parents to watch for those warning signs, too.
Boardman high school’s principal says he’s grateful for their partnership between Boardman police and the school.