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Dunavant, officers, community leaders work to increase school safety

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District Attorney General Mike Dunavant is working with law enforcement officers, school principals and guidance counselors to combat school violence by identifying warning signs among teens.

The efforts are part of a proactive initiative by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference to help community leaders keep schools safe amid continued national incidents of juvenile violence.

The conference hosted a “Protecting Our Children: Proactive and Prepared” seminar on Jan. 29 in Nashville, where Phil Chalmers, a nationally recognized expert on teen violence, trained attendees on how to help teens in trouble while keeping schools and communities safe.

“Training sessions and resources from the conference keep us updated on what’s happening nationally that could have an impact here at home,” said Mike Dunavant, District Attorney General for Lauderdale, Tipton, Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy counties. “We do everything we can to help our police officers and school officials take action and prevent the same kinds of tragedies we see on the news from happening here.”

Attendees at the seminar learned how to identify gang and cult practices, spot danger signs among teens like obsessions with violence and weapons, and what to do to keep teens safe and get them any necessary help.

“We often deal with juvenile violence that could have been avoided if someone had known what to do,” said Guy Jones, deputy director of the conference. “We want to equip the community with the tools they need to turn a potential teen killer into a teen who gets help.”

If anyone has questions about the seminar or how to identify warning signs among teens, please contact the local district attorneys’ office, call (615) 741-1696 or visit www.tndagc.org for more information.

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