Thursday, February 23, 2006

Well, dang

Small towns don't deal so much with gangs, but apparently shooting someone at High School happens.

This morning on my way to work, I was caught in traffic by our High School. I decided to pull into a gas station, and the attendent (we don't pump gas ourselves) told me that there was a shooting at the High School. Cripes. My kids go to that High School. So I say a quick prayer, and continue on to work.

On the way, there's a bunch of police and emergency vehicles next to a BBQ place I pass. There's a green backpack on the ground and a lot of activity. That's where the shooter was caught. He was probably there while I drove past.

At around 7:45, the shooter opened fire on a 16-year-old boy, hitting him three times in the stomach and once in the arm. He then ran off campus with other students chasing him. The victim was talking and trying to get up before being convinced to lay still and wait for the ambulance. He went through surgery to have two bullets removed and is in ICU, but expected to recover.

I got to work just after 8:00, and the staff in our classroom had already heard the news. One of my co-workers has a daughter at the High School who had called her mom right off to let her know she was okay, but was in lockdown. My school was put into lockdown mode as well, since the shooter had been running on foot, and we're in walking distance from the High School.

I got on the email system and was able to get a message back from one of Trevor's teachers right off who told me he didn't recognize the victim, so I knew it wasn't Trevor. Later, another teacher contacted me to let me know Trevor was safe in his class. Diana called me a little while later. She had seen the kid on the ground, but not the shooting.

At around 9:30 AM all the kids were released from lockdown & sent home on their busses. They have no school tomorrow either, and there are counselors available for anyone that needs them.

This whole thing could have been a lot worse. We still don't have any information on the motivation behind the shooting. My kids say that they often overhear people making threats to other people, but no one takes them seriously. My kids don't know either of the students involved, so the effects of this whole thing aren't as strong for them as for other students who knew either or both of the boys. Diana said she realized that something like this could happen at her school, she just hoped she wouldn't be involved if it did. Trevor figured it was bound to happen sometime.

I guess we all have our things to deal with. I remember worrying about nuclear war in high school. But when I was in high school, kids got into fist fights. No one thought about killing people at school with guns.

My kids' defense for something like this is to not ignore the "outcasts" at school. They don't judge people on their appearance or their lifestyle. Both of my kids are pretty accepting, and Diana goes out of her way to include the kids that seem to be left out. That's pretty much all they can do at this point. Now we'll have to see how the High School responds...

:(

1 comment:

Joe Williams said...

Odd that most people perceive school killings have become more commonplace, while it has actually decreased substantially. Better communication? More sensationalization?