By Jordan Mazza


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) -- Stopping school violence before it starts: that's the goal of a new bill proposed by Speaker Mattiello.

The legislation creates boots–on–the–ground teams at every school in the state to identify threatening behavior and connect students with mental health resources.

"That sounds like a really good idea, actually," said Jon Plante of Providence. "I think any kind of prevention, also tying in some mental health stuff – I think it's important to focus not only on the guns themselves but what is actually causing all of the violence."

It's based on recommendations from the Rhode Island School Safety Committee, which was created after the Parkland school shooting.

Florida, Virginia, and Maryland have similar models in place.

One father of two young children agrees the focus should be on prevention, not on arming more people at schools.

"I think the efforts to have the students or even the teachers directly mitigate an actual attack are really misguided,"said Dave Stuebe, Providence. "Even people who are professionally trained on a weekly basis struggle to do that."

But another father says the school prevention efforts should be paired with efforts at home.

"If we can start from home educating these kids, information on how they can be safe, if they have to report anything, that would be great," said Luis Mejia of Providence. "And also, if that comes from the school, perfect."

The bill has been officially introduced and is assigned to the Health, Education, and Welfare Committee.


© WLNE/ABC 6 2019