School Shootings | KERA News

School Shootings

Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

In the immediate aftermath of the May 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School, a man who said he witnessed the carnage seemed to turn up everywhere.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

Capping off a yearslong effort to prevent another school shooting like the Santa Fe High tragedy, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a series of bills into law Thursday that would, among other things, strengthen mental health initiatives available to children and allot money to school districts that can go toward “hardening” their campuses.

It was sunny and cold on Feb. 13, 2018, when 18-year-old Jack Sawyer walked out of Dick's Sporting Goods in Rutland, Vt., with a brand-new pump-action shotgun and four boxes of ammunition.

The next day, Valentine's Day, Sawyer took his new gun out for target practice.

Around the same time, about 1,500 miles away in Parkland, Fla., a 19-year-old shot and killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

A bill that aims to prevent violence in Texas schools – one of Greg Abbott's legislative priorities – is on the governor's desk.

Senate Bill 11 would require schools to teach lessons on mental health, substance abuse, coping mechanisms and suicide prevention. The bill is a compromise of House and Senate efforts to keep schools safe after 10 people were killed in a shooting last year at Santa Fe High School.  

Child psychologist Robin Gurwitch says first and foremost, caregivers should reach out to their kids and talk about what has happened.
Benjamin Manley / Unsplash

In the wake of the shooting at the K-12 STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, parents all over the country are struggling with difficult conversations about safety at school. One student was killed and eight were injured. Hundreds more lived through the terrifying experience of a shooting at their school.

Chuck Burton / Associated Press

On Tuesday, April 30, a gunman killed two students and injured four others at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

A Florida teen arrived at Denver International Airport last month and then purchased a shotgun at a gun store in the suburb of Littleton. What followed was a massive, frantic manhunt and the closure of schools all over northern Colorado. Questions about the legality of that gun purchase persist.

Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post / via Getty Images

The nation was shocked on April 20, 1999, when 12 students and one teacher were killed in a mass shooting at Columbine High School outside of Denver, Colorado.

In the 20 years since, through other prominent school shootings from Sandy Hook to Parkland and an ongoing rise in U.S. shooting deaths, Columbine has loomed large in our politics, policy and culture.

On April 20, 1999, as two students carried out the deadly shooting at Columbine High School, senior Heather Martin was barricaded in a choir office with 60 other students. It would be several hours before emergency responders found the room and were able to help the group get out.

"I only saw the aftermath," she said. "I didn't see anything as it was happening." But she was shocked to find out that the perpetrators were two of her peers, including one she had grown up with.

It took her 10 years to return to her alma mater.

Matt Richmond / Guns & America

Teachers or other school staff in districts in 31 states can legally carry weapons in schools, according to a review of state laws and local news coverage by Guns & America.

One Year Later: After March For Our Lives

Mar 27, 2019
Students across the country, including University of Texas at Arlington student Nyasha Magocha, center, helped plan the first March for our Lives in 2018.
Guns & America

In the year since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, young people have brought gun issues to the forefront of our national consciousness like never before.

Within one week, there have been two suicides of Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivors.  

The father of a Newtown, Conn., girl who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has died in an apparent suicide. Newtown Police say 49-year-old Jeremy Richman was found dead early Monday morning, not far from his office.

"This is a heartbreaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole; the police department's prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time," said Lt. Aaron Bahamonde.

Mateo, left, and his older brother Caleb play in their backyard in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Kindergartener Caleb practices lockdown drills at his school, while his little brother Mateo hasn't started yet.
Adhiti Bandlamudi / Guns & America

Lockdown drills have become increasingly common in schools across the United States. 

Students start practicing these drills as early as pre-school, before they can truly understand what threat they are hiding from.

Laura Isensee / Houston Public Media

Sandy Hook. Parkland. Santa Fe.

If it seems like school shootings are becoming more common, there is some data to support that.

From Texas Standard:

A year ago Thursday, a shooter killed 17 students and staff members at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Three months later, it happened again: A gunman killed eight students and two teachers at Santa Fe High School, south of Houston.

In Texas, there's been skepticism over the years about the intentions of those who call for gun control. But one year after Parkland, and almost nine months after Santa Fe, there are small signs of a shift.

There will be no marching.

There will be no school walkouts.

Only a day of reflection and service and, perhaps most consequential, a time to grieve.

That is how many of the Parkland, Fla., survivors turned activists plan to spend Thursday, the first anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

From Texas Standard:

Less than a year ago, on May 18, 2018, a shooter killed 10 people and wounded 13 at Santa Fe High School, south of Houston. It's been an arduous nine months for those who are recovering from the traumatic event. One survivor, law enforcement Officer John Barnes who was stationed at the school, was the last person shot that day. He spent weeks in the hospital, had more than six surgeries and has many more months left of rehabilitation.

Carmen Schentrup was one week away from celebrating her 17th birthday when she was killed in last year's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

A talented musician and driven student, Carmen had dreams of becoming a medical researcher and finding a cure for the neurodegenerative disease ALS.

Now, her parents, Philip and April, wear teal bracelets printed with her name and the dates that mark her short life: 2/21/2001-2/14/2018.

About a 10-minute drive from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on an empty lot across from city hall in Coral Springs, Fla., a temple has been slowly taking shape. Sheets of beech plywood have been milled into intricate, lacelike designs. They will form the walls and ceiling of a nearly 40-foot-tall structure that artist David Best calls the Temple of Time.

A longtime Trump ally pushed to have two fathers of Parkland victims tossed out of a congressional hearing on gun violence — a reflection of the vociferous nature of the debate Democrats have made a priority in the new Congress.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., sparked commotion in the hearing when he listed circumstances in which violence was committed by undocumented immigrants, and said the solution would be to build the Trump-backed wall along the Southwest border.

Lawmakers returned to Austin this month for the first time since the Santa Fe High School shooting, and they have repeatedly assured that school safety will take center stage during the legislative session.
Associated Press

 

Following a deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in May that left 10 dead and 13 others wounded, Gov. Greg Abbott released a 43-page school safety plan outlining suggestions for bills the Legislature could pass this session to reduce the threat of gun violence in Texas schools.

The first cases related to the Parkland school shooting in February are beginning to work through the courts, testing a number of thorny legal issues.

In the last week, for example, judges in different courts ruled on questions about what duty school deputy Scot Peterson had to protect the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the attack there in February.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As the nation's eyes were on Broward County, Florida, for a flawed, week long election recount, a state commission a few miles away was investigating the county government's role in the Feb. 14 massacre at a Parkland high school. It found that failed leadership, inconsistent or unenforced policies, and misinformation contributed to the 17 deaths.

School shootings have taken a terrible human toll. They have also been a boon to the business of security technology.

Over the summer, Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox saw an array of items on display at an expo in Orlando, Fla. He and fellow reporter Steven Rich went on to investigate whether any of the technology being promoted and sold really helps save lives.

How Texas Educators Train Before Arming Themselves At School

Aug 14, 2018
The Texas Tribune

PFLUGERVILLE — A gaggle of reporters clustered last week near shelves of picture books and signs marked "Love" and "Read" in the Windermere Elementary School library.

Then shots rang. The reporters jolted back, their iPhones shaking in surprise. A gunman ran through the hallway until he was shot down by a masked educator.

David J. Phillip / AP

Police officers have long had a presence in public schools. But since the deadly school shootings in Santa Fe and Parkland, Florida, more Texas school children have found themselves facing police for actions the authors of a new study view as kids just being kids.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

As Texans grappled with being the site of America’s latest mass school shooting last week and the seemingly insoluble arguments over gun rights and student safety again flared, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested that preventing future deaths could be a matter of rethinking how schools are built and operated.

Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

After 10 people were killed by a student firing a shotgun and a .38 revolver at Santa Fe High School last week, Gov. Greg Abbott's re-election campaign has dropped a shotgun giveaway from his website.

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