School Violence: The Series (Parkland)

Parkland Florida Shooting

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School violence goes back as far as records do. According to a criminal investigator with the Pennsylvania State Police who specializes in violent crime and school violence, “School violence is not a new phenomenon, the earliest recorded school shooting in the United States occurred on July 26, 1764, near Greencastle, Pennsylvania when Lenape American Indians entered a schoolhouse and shot and killed a schoolmaster and 9 or 10 children.”
On February 14, 2018 at 2:21 PM there was a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This is otherwise known as the Parkland shooting.
A former student killed seventeen students with a semi-automatic rifle and sent hundreds fleeing into the streets. This was the third deadliest school shooting in the nation’s history.
“It was frustrating to realize that these things were still occurring,” Ms. Heather Jenkins said. “These events are not only making teachers uncomfortable, but students as well.”
Senior Nashon Key said, “I feel safe at Pottsville, but there is always that fear in the back of my mind.”
Parkland student Eden Hebron, who was 15 at the time, was brave enough to share her story. “Every gunshot I heard was the sound of my brain going deeper into a shock. My body was there under a table fearing for my life,” Hebron said in a USA Today story.

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Students from all around the world were affected by this tragedy. Shown here are students showing their support during the #NeverAgain protest. Senior Isabella Woodford said,” It’s terrible that events like this happen. But as students, the best thing we can do for each other is just be here for support.”

Not everyone hiding under that desk survived. Parkland student Alyssa Alhedeff hid for her life next to Eden under the same desk. “I looked at my friend and within seconds Alyssa was struck with bullets. She’s dying. My friend who I was just talking with two minutes before, is dying,” Hebron said.
This sent shock waves through the country. “People realized that seemingly innocuous threats really could be real,” Mrs. Heather Jenkins said.
Because of these threats, our whole system of defense has been changed. “Our school uses the ALICE program, but up until ALICE pretty much the response was to stay put as best as you can,” Mr. David Sterner said.
As more research is being sought, more safety precautions are released. To learn more about solutions students are constructing, check back next week for the next installment in the series.

Next week this series will explore student-led solutions.