GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. — In Gadsden County this week, school and law enforcement officials are focusing on how to prevent everything from bullying to internet crime and violent crimes against children.
No one can ever forget the horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut seven years ago, and since then incidents of gun violence against children in schools has gotten worse.
"Since the Newtown shooting there have been 400 shootings in America. 138 kids died from those shootings," said Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young. "So it is very important that we take heed to what could happen at our schools."
The 7th annual Rural County Summit focuses on Violence Against Children in a Modern Society. The main focus on Thursday was preventing school shootings.
"We have to be prepared and make sure our children don't get into a situation where a predator can take advantage of them," said Sheriff Young.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is also a mother. She is urging people to download the Fortify Florida App. It lets anyone anonymously report suspicious activity to stop threats to our schools.
"Stopping bullying, stopping someone from committing suicide, stopping someone who may seek to harm other students," said Moody.
Gadsden County Superintendent Roger Milton says times have changed when he grew up. He says schools and churches were the safest places in the world, but not anymore because he says it is all about being pro-active.
"We go year-to-year thinking that it can't be us. Well we are realizing that it can be us," said Milton. "We hope that is doesn't happen but we want to be very well prepared if it does happen."
The Rural County Summit runs through Friday at the Florida Public Safety Institute Conference Center.
The free Fortify Florida App is free to download to your apple or android device.