School shooting survivor joins Dayton forum on gun violence prevention

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A panel of community leaders met Thursday evening with parents to discuss ways to better prevent gun violence in schools.

Panel participants included Judge E. Gerald Parker, Jr. with Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, Dayton Public Schools Safety Director Richard Wright, Lt. Jason Hall with the Dayton Police Department, and Tammy Daniels, Educator Lead with Dayton Moms Demand Action.

Cameron Smith, a gun violence survivor, was also on the panel. He says he’s still recovering after being shot inside Madison Junior-Senior High School in Butler County four years ago this Saturday. Since then, he’s become active with groups against gun violence, including Sandy Hook Promise.

“I see a lot of schools keep saying, well, I didn’t think it was going to happen to us. The one thing is, I didn’t think it would happen to me, either,” he said.

At a panel discussion, Wright discussed some of the security measures Dayton Public Schools has in place including locked doors, metal detectors and school resource officers in every building. He also says the district has increased mental health services available.

Police say they take all potential threats seriously and can work to help any kids who may be at risk of committing violence.

“If we come across a young person who’s exhibiting violent tendencies, we’re concerned, we don’t have probable cause to arrest, we can start making referrals, especially with mental health services,” Lt. Hall said.

Smith continues to share his story with students and parents.

“Listen to your kids. If they say something’s happening, be sure to listen. Don’t push them away,” he said.

He hopes to make a visit to Dayton Public Schools soon.

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