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Stetson hosts community safety forums

Sandy Hook

First responders attend vigil for victims of shooting at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn.

Stetson University will host two community forums to discuss issues that have arisen in the aftermath of the recent school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Topics including mental health services, safe schools and communities, and violence in public places will be discussed.

“As educators and parents we must strive to understand the roots of the tragedy and the best ways to seek change, for that is what communities of higher learning do,” said William J. Ball, visiting professor at Stetson University and one of the organizers of the forums. “Through information and dialogue our community can respond to tragic events like this in a thoughtful manner and be better prepared for the future.”

“This is critical work for us, given our underlying values that define our community: self-knowledge and growth, active intellectual exploration, and informed citizenship that lead to community engagement and social justice,” said Wendy B. Libby, president of Stetson University. “Stetson is the significant partner that can champion the change we need in this world.”

The first forum will focus on Safety at Schools and Campuses and will be held Monday, March 11, 6-8:30 p.m. in the Stetson Room in the Carlton Union Building on Stetson’s campus. Panelists will include:

  • Candace Lankford, Vice Chairman, Volusia County School Board
  • Robert Matusick, Director of Public Safety, Stetson University
  • James Ramsay, Ph.D., Chair of the Homeland Security Department, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Bob Lambert, Lieutenant, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

The second forum will focus on Mental Health and Violence in Schools, Campuses and the Community. It will be held Wednesday, March 20, 6-8:30 p.m. in the Stetson Room in the Carlton Union Building on Stetson’s campus. Panelists will include:

  • Amy Hall, Ph.D., Volusia County District Counseling Specialist, Student Support Services
  • Ivan Fleishman, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist in DeLand, Fla.
  • Nancy Jacobsen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in DeLand, Fla.
  • Meghan Walter, Ph.D., Coordinator, School Counseling Program at Stetson University

Both forums are free and open to the public, however, space is limited and attendees must register prior to the events. To register go to https://secure.stetson.edu/forms/polisci/rsvp/index.php.

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