PARIS, Ill. (WCIA) — The Paris School District has received more than $8 million in grants since July of last year, and about $500,000 of that will help improve campus safety. 

The money has allowed the district to partner with national safety experts who have been on site to survey the campuses and shared ways to improve. With the help of the district’s safety committee, they were able to make necessary improvements before the school year started. Staff members were also trained in de-escalating situations. 

“The other thing we’ve been able to work on is training over 200 of our staff in mental health first aid,” said Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Larson. “We know that when school violence occurs, it’s not a mentally healthy individual that cause that violence.”

Larson said the district has also been able to use the money for after-school programs and summer camps.