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Northern Va. schools used for PBS documentary on gun violence

Sunday - 2/3/2013, 2:41pm  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - A new PBS documentary examining possible warning signs for school shootings has used two Northern Virginia schools for part of the setting.

Due to the sensitivity of the topic, the PBS producers signed an agreement with Arlington Public Schools stating that the names of the elementary and high schools would not be identified in the documentary called "Path to Violence." Though Arlington County sent an email alert with the names of the schools, PBS asked WTOP not to disclose the names and locations.

Gun violence and safety in schools have been issues in the forefront since the shootings that killed 26 people in Newtown, Conn.

The documentary is part of the PBS "After Newtown" series that will look at methods used to stop school shootings before they happen.

"There are patterns of behavior, and if you understand those patterns of behavior, if you see them working their way through a child or a group of kids, you can intervene," says Executive Producer Jason Williams.

Williams says 120 school shootings have been stopped by some intervention methods since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

The Virginia schools were used in scenes of children running through a hallway with children's artwork and two teenagers handling what looks like a real gun. The gun was fake, and Williams says all the students were actors.

"Path to Violence" will air on PBS Feb. 28 at 10 p.m.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)