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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — With school shootings on the rise, Mississippi State University is asking professors to be more aware of student behavior in the classroom.

According to, the New York based group Everytown For Gun Safety, 74 shootings have occurred at or around a school since the tragic event at Sandycook Elementary.

On April 20, 1999, the nation was shocked at the news that two troubled teens opened fire on students and teachers at Columbine High School, in Colorado. Twelve student, one teacher and the two shooters died.

Copy cats incidents have continue to stun all of us and Mississippi State professors say they take threats seriously.

Doctor Mark Goodman remembers one encounter he had with a disgruntled student.

“That’s not that uncommon and we exchanged a couple of emails and that was fine but when it got up to about six to eight emails in one day and then it got to six to eight emails the second day, then I contacted the Dean of students and said hey would you talk to this student,” says Dr. Mark Goodman.

The issue was quickly resolved.  As a Communication professor, Dr. Goodman tries to pay attention to signs that a student might be troubled.

“I know when I teach a class of 40, I probably have one or two people in that class who have been sexually abused. I probably have one or two students in there who have an eating disorder. I probably have a student with alcohol or that has a problem with drugs. Essentially, look everybody in the eye at some point or another and figure out who is at risk,” says Dr. Goodman.

Dean of Students, Thomas Bourgeois says even before the incident at Virginia Tech, MSU has had long standing policies to protect students. The University also uses research committees, who study violent trends.

“We’ve looked at those models and make sure that we are trying to meet the needs to prevent some of the things are happening all across the country,” says Thomas Bourgeois.

And even though, the actions of others can’t be controlled, you can take a proactive approach when it comes to prevention and protection.

One way the University alerts students of dangers on campus is through Maroon alert text messages and emails.

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