Stephen-Argyle School District invites national speaker to discuss preventing school shootings

STEPHEN, MN (Valley News Live) - A Minnesota school district is taking steps to prevent tragedies in their region.

Stephen-Argyle wants to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to school shootings and hopes a national speaker has the answers.

Phil Chalmers has studied teen killers and school shooters for decades, and now he speaks to crowds of people across the nation.

"My goal is to educate the community so they know how to profile a killer and they can spot a teen killer, school shooter before they strike," Chalmers said.

Chalmers, who is from Florida, says there are warning signs and things that can be done to prevent these tragedies from happening in our communities and schools.

"A small rural town usually thinks these kind of things will never happen here,” Chalmers said. “So it's kind of a nice thing just to get people more aware of their surroundings and really make them aware that we have to get out of denial, that it can happen anywhere."

He says he hopes people take two things from his discussion. Killers don't look like killers, they can be anyone. And parents need to get more involved in their kids’ lives.

"Thing that their kids could stumble into today, the social media, the apps and stuff like that can be very dangerous,” Chalmers said. “We want parents to be more engaged."

School superintendent Chris Mills challenges the parents, students, and community members to continue on after this presentation and focus on being proactive and paying attention to mental health.

"When we think about safety and security, we automatically think about locked doors and lockdown procedures, and those types of things,” Mills said. “I think we really gotta focus more on our kids and where their mental health is, where their wellness is across the board."

Mills says he hopes the community walks away with insight that can benefit their town.

"I think it's important to address some of those uncomfortable issues in order to get to the point we want to be in,” Mills said. “Make our kids feel safe, make our staff feel safe because we're gonna be proactively dealing with mental health issues."