School violence is not a new problem, according to a Phil Chalmers presentation at Grayson College Friday. He said the first instance of a mass murder at a school in America happened back in 1764.

The difference between then and now is largely related to the reaction such crimes get from them public, he said. Back in 1764, the crime would have been of note in that area. Today, the perpetrator would be famous nationwide if not worldwide.

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Grayson County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tony Bennie brought the Chalmers' program “Profiling Teen Killers, School Shooters, Mass Murderers and Serial Killers” to Grayson County after participating in the training elsewhere, and GC Sheriff Tom Watt said this likely won't be the last time the training is offered locally.

“It is great to open a dialog,” Watt said about a list of topics that many people shy away from publicly.

He said he wants local folks to know that a status of “Lockdown” is not the only option in a situation where there is a shooter present at a school or business.

Mental health, Watt said, is not always at the root of the types of crimes that happened in El Paso and Ohio this past week and we must learn to look beyond mental health for answers.

Chalmers, a television personality and author, said the fame factor is something that influenced some of the teen killers he had interviewed.

Blaming the media, Chalmers said there are five teen murders every day in America and 12 teen suicides, but those don't make the nightly news. What does are in the instances were multiple people are killed by guns. He relates to those teen killers because he grew up in a life a lot like theirs. He had an abusive alcoholic father and grew up in an impoverished neighborhood. He transitioned out of that life when his family inherited property in a suburb and he rose above his background with help from others like a football coach who took an interest in him.

Contrary to popular belief, these killers that Chalmers has studied didn't just snap one day and kill people. Most of them, he said, have planned what they did for months. During those months, their crimes were preventable if people had known what to look for.

“There is not profile for a teen killer or school shooter,” Chalmers said. However, according to his research, they are predominantly male and can be white, black, Asian, Hispanic, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, popular, loners, religious, or atheist.

He said most of them plan to die during their spree either at their own hand or by the police.

“The most common reason for a school massacre is revenge on those who have wronged the killer, along with a desire for instant fame and recognition,” he said.

Chalmers praised the number of educators who attended Friday's event and told them that the deadliest hour of their work day is first period or first hour as more instances of violence at school happen then.

Other dangerous times include when students are gathered in large numbers like lunch, school assemblies and sporting events.

What schools must do to keep their students safe is to hire a good police officer and eliminate bullying completely with zero tolerance, he said.

One school official who was present at the seminar was Sherman Independent School District Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Tyson Bennett who said SISD personnel attended the event Friday and the district has increased its budget for school security and training.

SISD does employ a school resource officer through the Sherman Police Department.

“It provides us with even greater understanding of violence in our society and also the warning signs that we should be on the lookout for in our youth who are experiencing issues, whether they be family issues to mental health issues, or other personal problems,” he said of why it was important to have district representatives at the program. “These are things we can look for to help us be better prepared for children in crisis.”

Herald Democrat reporter Drew Smith contributed to this report.

Were you one of the more than 600 people who registered for Friday's event? If so, what did you think about the presentation? Let Criminal Justice Editor Jerrie Whiteley know at JWhiteley@HeraldDemocrat.com.