Classes were back in session the same day a student died in a school shooting in North Carolina
If you ever needed evidence that we’ve become all too desensitized to school shootings in the U.S., here it is. A student was shot and killed at a high school in North Carolina, and on the same day, classes in that school were resumed. Students had to go to class just hours after one of their peers died. In a school shooting.
Let that sink in.
Butler High School is located just outside Charlotte, North Carolina. Police told news outlets they responded to reports of a shooting there just before 8 a.m. The student who was shot was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, and later died. Another student was taken into custody, and police reportedly have possession of the gun that was used.
BREAKING: Heavy police presence on the campus of Butler High School in Matthews after shooting. Shooter is in custody, victim is at the hospital for treatment. Dozens of worried parents are also on scene. pic.twitter.com/pznG1KXX77
— Ruby Durham WCNC (@RubyElizDurham) October 29, 2018
BUTLER HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: Text messages from a student inside Butler High.
Police confirm a student shot another student at Butler High School.
— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) October 29, 2018
— Mark Barber (@MBarberWSOC9) October 29, 2018
Butler High was on lockdown for just over an hour during the incident, which police said was “an isolated incident and the scene has now been secured.” Reports say parents were notified by phone. And then all the students, who surely knew one of their classmates was now dead because someone shot them on school grounds, headed to their next class like it was any regular Monday. What the fuck, North Carolina?
Today, a student was shot and killed at Butler High School – yet classes went on. Imagine what it feels like to be told to get back to normal just hours after a school shooting. We shouldn't have to live like this. https://t.co/Is8avpnJ7v
— National School Walkout (@schoolwalkoutUS) October 29, 2018
Imagine your classmate being shot in school and having to go to 2nd period right after.
Some kids in North Carolina don’t have to imagine that. https://t.co/6FLxhFMqzc
— Matt Deitsch (@MattxRed) October 29, 2018
State Superintendent Mark Johnson released a statement, but nowhere in it did he try to justify requiring students to go right back to class. Police reported information from the scene to local news outlets and apparently, the day will now go on as normal.
“I am heartbroken to hear that we have lost a student to school violence in one of our schools,” he wrote. “We have contacted Charlotte-Mecklenburg authorities and will assist in any way we can, but of course our first thoughts are for the parents and other loved ones of the student who passed away. The safety of our students is paramount. This is a sad day for all of North Carolina, and we must work together as a community to address these problems.”
Maybe the first step would be to give all your traumatized high schoolers the day off, and not require them to be in the very same building where their peer was shot and killed just hours before. But considering school shootings are near daily occurrences in this country, it’s no wonder they’re becoming practically part of the routine. The fact that we expect our kids to be so numbed by this, so used to it, that they can go straight to second period after a shooting is absolutely absurd. We can do better. For the sake of our kids, we have to do better.
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