CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said at a state Board of Education meeting last week he wants to meet with students regarding ways to make schools safer.

Paine said he has been thinking about the idea since last month’s shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Students across the country — including in West Virginia — participated in walkouts last week over gun violence.

“I used to say kids come first and your people in the system come a close second,” he said. “And yet, we’re not listening very well to them.”

Paine said he had met with West Virginia State Police Superintendent Jan Cahill concerning school safety, noting while he believes schools are safe in terms of structure, more work should be done to address student needs.

“Prevention not only comes from how we keep perpetrators from harming our kids coming into our schools, but it comes from within the schools,” he said. “Identifying those kids that are lonely and outcast and mocked and bullied, and trying to find out ways for adults to connect to those kids or student leaders to connect to those kids.”

Paine also proposed last week a two-day summit for educators, lawmakers and local education officials to work out problems with educational achievement.