School safety a hot topic across the Omaha metro

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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT)-- School safety is on the mind of many after yet another school shooting in Maryland Tuesday. One school district in the metro says now in the time to start the conversation.

Metro students continue to speak out in protest for change. Parents want to know their kids are safe in school. Area school districts and safety officials are listening.

Gayle Christensen was part of a special panel talking school safety at Bellevue West High School Tuesday night. She's with “Lift Up Sarpy County,” an organization encouraging dialogue.

“Not talking about it, doesn't make it go away,” said Christensen. “If you have a plan, you feel like you have a little bit more control. It's when we don't have a plan and we're not sure what to do, when we get nervous or we feel like we're kind of scrambling. That's when things kind of spin out of control.”

Rather than ignoring the idea that something bad may happen, Christensen says knowledge is power and sometimes the feeling of safety starts with a conversation between parents and kids at home.

“I think a lot of times you're hoping that you won't have to deal with that, but it doesn't mean you won't have to,” said parent Jamie Twitchell.

BPS Director of Student Services Kevin Mills says the district's relationship with local law enforcement has never been better. He wants parents to know it's okay to ask questions in ensuring their child's safety.

“All those things come together,” said Mills. “We want to make sure that all of our community members, parents, and guardians, understand that those things are happening on a regular basis.”

Bellevue Public Schools puts on these special panel discussions every month, with a new topic every time. District officials tell 6 News this discussion on school safety couldn’t have come at a better time.

Bellevue Public Schools wants to help stop school crisis before they happen. They've generated an anonymous tipline. Find more information here.