Know and Go:
What: Placer County School Safety Forum
When: 7 p.m. March 8
Where: The Grounds, Jones Hall (800 All America City Blvd.), Roseville
Online: The forum will be online at placer.ca.gov
Like most citizens throughout the country, we’re concerned about the safety of today’s school campuses.
School shootings, since the terrible Columbine High School shooting occurred 19 years ago in Colorado, have escalated instead of deescalated.
Back in 1999, 12 students and one teacher perished and 20 others were wounded after two students went on a shooting spree in a suburb south of Denver.
Parents everywhere felt the fear and panic that the Columbine families experienced immediately following the shootings as they desperately tried to find out if their children were not hurt in the unexpected violence.
It has been almost two decades since the Columbine mass shooting internationally shocked parents, students and school staff.
And yet we haven’t figured out how to make schools a safe environment for our children. Mass shootings at schools continue in all parts of the United States.
Since the Columbine shooting, according to the Washington Post, more than 150,000 students at 170-plus primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus.
The latest school shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was just as shocking as each one preceding it. The lives of 17 Parkland neighbors, 14 students, two coaches and one teacher; were taken by a once-suspended former student on another shooting rampage.
But the Florida shooting is creating a push for school safety that’s led partly by Marjory Stoneman High students. Six days after the shooting, several students traveled several hours north to the state’s capital and voiced their disappointment after House of Representatives voted not to hear a bill banning assault rifles and large-capacity magazines.
It’s about time that a school shooting results in advocacy for school safety. This activism by Parkland students has quickly spread to other states.
Students elsewhere, including California and New Jersey, held walk-outs in support of making their schools safer. Nationwide, grassroots students have organized: the National School Walkout on March 14 and the March for Our Lives on March 24.
Since the Parkland school shooting, California leads the list of schools with an increase in threats, according to the Educators School Safety Network organization based out of Ohio.
A week ago Thursday, a Lincoln High School teacher said a student threatened to “shoot this school up.” The student will face “appropriate discipline,” according to a press release from Principal Jay Berns.
And there were three lock-downs in area schools, due to threats, during the last month.
School safety is a complex issue, in which a 650-word editorial can not do it justice. It also crosses party lines and erupts in heated conversations every week in Washington, D.C.
But discussion on school safety needs to take place now. We don’t want another student or school staff to be killed on any school campus.
That’s why everyone who has a child in school should attend the Placer County School Safety Forum, 7 p.m. March 8 at Jones Hall, 800 All America City Blvd. in Roseville.
While Lincoln officials aren’t part of the March 8 Placer County School Safety Forum panel, Lincoln residents are impacted by the discussion.
Placer County Supervisor Jack Duran, who organized the forum, said the forum is open to everyone in Placer County. Duran is a former Roseville High School District Board of Trustees president.
The March 8 forum includes Roseville Joint Union High School District, Placer County Office of Education, Roseville Police Department, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, and Placer County Health and Human Services representatives.
“The information presented will be pretty straightforward and basic,” Duran said. “Anyone in the education system should show up to the forum because they will get critical information from the first-responders themselves.”
Together, we can help make our school safer for our students to prevent another tragedy.
It’s time to make sure safety plans are in place.