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School Safety

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Even in a country where gun violence is commonplace, the story of a small boy with a gun is reverberating in a big way. There has been finger-pointing, confusion, floundering for answers and mass grappling with deeply uncomfortable feelings. There are questions, too. How could something like this possibly happen? Where in the national consciousness do we put it? Police say the 6-year-old in a first-grade class in Newport News, Virginia, pointed a handgun at his teacher on Jan. 6 and then pulled the trigger. One psychology expert says the case hits differently because it violates society's expectations for both school shootings and childhood itself.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says a federal agency will provide more than $2.3 million to two Kentucky organizations to support school safety and mental health. McConnell says the Department of Health and Human Services is awarding more than $2 million to the Kentucky Educational Development Finance Corporation in Ashland. Another $250,000 is going to Seven Counties Services, based in Louisville. Both grants will fund mental health support and early intervention programs in Kentucky schools. Funding for the grants comes from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which McConnell helped lead to Senate passage last year.

Unlike standard school supplies, sales of bulletproof backpacks spike at seemingly random times throughout the year. Their sales are far from random, though. Bulletproof backpack sales consistently soar following school shootings, as concerned parents seek added security for their children. Their concerns are valid. From December 2012 to February 2018,

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