PSA brings powerful message to El Pasoans about school shootings

Sandy Hook Promise is sending a powerful message with a new PSA about school shootings.

We showed the video to El Pasoans to hear their thoughts on the message.

“That ad definitely triggers the emotions and it makes it more like ‘woah,’ you don’t think that your child would have to think ‘Oh, I have to protect mode,’” Chelsea Gevne said. “You don’t think that your 6-year-old is going to have to go to school and think, ‘Fight or flight’ or think that, ‘Oh, those scissors can protect me.’ You don’t want to think that.”

Gevne said she has already spoken with her young children about gun safety.

“I have to talk to them about why some people make bad choices and what they have to do to be able to protect themselves and maybe what they can do to keep at peace with themselves.”

“It makes me sad that our kids have to worry about things like that. They have to worry about themselves, about keeping in contact their families, about protecting others. I’d like to think that that’s something that we can do for them, so it’s kind of heartbreaking,” Kahryn Bastain said.

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Michigan high school designed to reduce impact of mass shootings

American firm Tower Pinkster has designed a school in Michigan with the aim of reducing the number of student casualties in the event of a terror attack.

The architecture, engineering and interiors firm designed the entire Fruitport High School campus, from the building's form to details of door locks, with the aim to limiting the effectiveness of a shooter.

Fruitport High School by Tower Pinkster
The reception area is designed to maintain views of the entrance and into the school

Tower Pinkster's approach comes in the wake of a wave of violence in US education facilities, including shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland and Santa Fe High School in Texas.

Fruitport High School, which is currently under construction, is designed in segments that are divided by fire doors. These can be closed at the push of a button in the event of an attack to close off compartments, and isolate the attacker from students.

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BULLYING 101: Advice for parents and kids as new school years begins

As students head back to school this week, some will surely have to contend with being bullied.

While physical face-to-face bullying is on the decline, cyberbullying is on the rise says bullying expert and retired Saskatoon Police Services sgt. Brian Trainor, who has been speaking to schools since 2000 and is the co-author of the 2018 book Bully 4 U.

“It’s because of the anonymity,”Trainor, 62, who retired 13 years ago after 27 years of service, said Saturday.

“So parents really need to be looking at their kids phones to see what apps are on there and using that as an opportunity to have a conversation with their kids. A lot of parents now give their kids a phone as early as Grade 2 and have (given) no instruction.”

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9 counts of attempted murder for student who allegedly opened fire in football stadium

A 17-year-old high school student has been charged with nine counts of attempted murder after he allegedly opened fire into a crowded football stadium in Mobile, Alabama following a Friday night game.

Deangelo Parnell was arrested early Saturday and is being charged as an adult, according to Charlette Solis, a police spokesperson.

The shooting did not appear to have an intended target and followed a fight that started before the game, Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said.

A fight was about to occur and the suspect indiscriminately pulled out a weapon, Battiste said.

In addition to the nine injured in the shooting, a person in the crowd suffered a seizure because of the event and a second person injured their hand trying to escape the chaos. Of the injured, six had been treated and released, while three were still in the hospital, police said Saturday.

“This was a cowardly act by an individual that didn’t know how to deal with a conflict or disagreement that he was having with someone else,” said Battiste. Choosing to recklessly discharge a gun in a crowded location is “unacceptable,” he said.

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Middle school teacher sentenced for sexually assaulting 14-year-old student in Canarsie: DA

A former teacher at a Canarsie middle school will spend four years behind bars for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student on seven different occasions in 2018, according to Brooklyn’s top prosecutor.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser slapped 36-year-old Andre Braddy — a Crown Heights resident and former teacher at Lenox Academy Middle School on Flatlands Avenue — with the four-year sentence on Aug. 22 after he plead guilty in July to second-degree criminal sexual act, promoting a sexual performance of a child and related charges in exchange for the promised sentence.

Prosecutors had been fighting for a five-year sentence for Braddy, who faced up to seven years if convicted at trial.

“This defendant exploited his position of trust to prey on a young student, which is an unconscionable betrayal. Schools should be safe havens and parents must be able to feel that their children are being protected while attending class. I hope today’s sentence brings some closure to the young student and his family, and I remain steadfast in my commitment to protecting our children,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

An investigation revealed that Braddy, then 34, sexually assaulted a 14-year-old male student on seven different occasions in 2018 between March 19 and April 20 in his classroom and in a bathroom inside the school, according to Gonzalez, who noted that several assaults occurred during school hours.

Braddy was cuffed after the victim’s mother found multiple sexually explicit photos and text messages on his phone and notified the authorities, according to Gonzalez’s office.

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Cyberbullying In Dearborn Carries $500 Fine, 3 Months In Jail

The city of Dearborn isn't taking cyberbullying lightly. The state of Michigan made cyberbullying a crime earlier this year, and now Dearborn is setting tough penalties — up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine — for people who violate an ordinance passed by the City Council last month.

The ordinance also more clearly defines online harassment as "posting a message or statement in a public media forum about another person that 'is intended to place a person in fear of harm or death and expresses intent to commit violence against the person.' "

The message must have been posted as a threat, or the poster must know it will be seen as a threat.

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Former teacher gets 50-100 years for student sex assaults

 — A former first-grade teacher at an Omaha elementary school has been given 50 to 100 years in prison for sexually assaulting students.

Douglas County District Court records show that 31-year-old Gregory Sedlacek was sentenced Tuesday. He'd pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault of a child. Prosecutors dropped other counts in return.

His attorney, Marc Delman, said he and his client haven't yet discussed an appeal.

Police arrested Sedlacek Dec. 3 on charges involving a 7-year-old girl. He then was charged with more counts after other incidents at Fontenelle Elementary School came to light.

The former school principal, Eric Nelson, is awaiting trial on a charge that he failed to immediately report Sedlacek's behavior to police or state officials.

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Cyberbullying is on the rise among middle and high school students, report finds

(NEW YORK) -- While overall rates of bullying in schools across the country have not changed, a new federal report released Tuesday revealed that online bullying has increased among middle and high school students.

Among the 20 percent of students who said they were bullied between the ages of 12 and 18 during the 2016 school year, 15% said they were bullied online or by text, according to the report by the National Center for Education Statistics. This is a 3.5% increase from the 2014-2015 school year.

Furthermore, the report found that roughly 41% of students between the ages of 12-18 who reported being bullied thought the bullying would happen again.

Cyberbullying can include anything from sending hateful messages to sharing harmful or defaming content about someone else online, according to StopBullying.gov, and it can be “persistent, permanent, and hard to notice.”

The report found that girls were more likely to be bullied and that 21% of girls who reported being bullied were singled out online or via text messages.

In 2018, a 12-year old girl took her own life after her parents said she was severely cyberbullied by peers and adults at her Florida middle school.

The parents of Gabbie Green, told ABC News that the bullying began on social media, though it eventually escalated to offline incidents as well.

"There were memes, they put memes out of her figure," her mother, Tanya Green, said.

Shane Green, Gabbie's father, added that there was even "a picture with a gun to her head."

The parents said they went to the school for help, but the bullying only grew worse online and even became physical.

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Goodyear teacher gets 20 years for sexual abuse of boy

PHOENIX (AP) — A former suburban Phoenix elementary school teacher avoided the maximum sentence Friday for sexually abusing a 13-year-old student, including engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a second boy.

Judge Sherry Stephens opted to sentence Brittany Ann Zamora to 20 years in prison instead of the 27 years prosecutors had asked for under a plea agreement. Zamora will also be on lifetime probation upon her release and have to register as a sex offender.

"The defendant did accept responsibility by pleading guilty. She has expressed her remorse. She has no prior criminal history," Stephens said.

Zamora, 28, apologized in court to the victims and to her family.

"I'm not a threat to society by any means," she said, sniffling at times. "I'm a good genuine person who made a mistake and regrets it deeply."

Authorities say Zamora had multiple sexual encounters with the 13-year-old boy in a classroom at Las Brisas Academy in Goodyear and in her car during February and March 2018. Some physical contact between Zamora, who at the time was 27 years old, and the sixth-grader occurred during class while other students were watching a video, according to documents.

Investigators also say a second boy, age 11, had seen Zamora having sex with the 13-year-old student. They say Zamora showed naked photos to both boys and asked them sexual questions.

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Former cop charged for not responding to Florida school shooting

A former Florida sheriff’s deputy was arrested on Tuesday on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from his lack of response during the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, the county sheriff said.

Scot Peterson, 56, who was taken into custody, faces multiple counts of child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury, Broward County State Attorney Mike Satz said in a statement. The charges carry a combined maximum prison sentence of nearly 97 years, he said.

Peterson, at the time a Broward County deputy, was on duty as a school resource officer when a gunman entered the school building on Feb. 14, 2018, and opened fire. He never went inside during the shooting and 17 people died and 17 others were wounded, according to the sheriff’s office and surveillance video.

Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 at the time and previously had been expelled from the school, was charged with the murders. He is awaiting trial.

Peterson also faces legal trouble in civil court. In May 2018, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Peterson. His son Hunter said on Twitter that he hoped Peterson spends the rest of his life in prison.

“He cowered in Parkland while my sister died defenseless and lied about his failure to confront the shooter,” he said.

Peterson’s lawyer in the civil lawsuit, Joseph DiRuzzo, did not respond to a request for comment.

Peterson was booked into the Broward County jail and his bond set at $102,000.

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