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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The school year is fast approaching, and for some has already arrived.

In a news conference today New Hanover County officials presented two new initiatives targeted toward child safety in and out of school.

“We have a responsibility to make things better for children,” Chief District Court Judge Jay Corpening said. “Especially children that have been exposed to trauma.”

The System of Care Initiative is based on two main elements.

Look Before You Lock is a campaign to bring awareness to the dangers of leaving children and pets in hot cars.

The Handle with Care program connects law enforcement with the school system. It notifies teachers and administrators about any trauma a student experiences outside school sending them back with a “Handle with Care” note.

Judge Corpening says trauma can take many different forms.

“Gunshots in the neighborhood, trauma can be someone being shot outside the house sometimes trauma can be something that happens neighborhood wide as we’ve seen in our community,” he said.

Sheriff Ed McMahon mentioned the number of students exposed to trauma during the shooting of a deputy in October in Creekwood.

Law enforcement and school officials believe being aware of outside events like this can help with behavioral issues in school.

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