Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Ashley Miller
Seeley-Swan High School, Grade 11 

Seeley-Swan High School Takes Precautions Against Intruders


November 30, 2017

Photo provided

Ashley Miller

SEELEY LAKE - With high increases in school shootings since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, many schools, including Seeley-Swan High School, are taking higher safety precautions to protect their students.  

According to Everytown, a website that reports statistics of shootings in grade school, high school and college, between 2013-2015 there were 160 school shootings in the United States. In 95 of these cases an individual intentionally used a gun to injure or kill at least one other student.

Shawn Holmes, a teacher and counselor at SSHS, says that while SSHS is a safe school, they are still taking further precautions to protect their students. Teachers at SSHS received Active Resistance training to better equip themselves with skills to face an intruder. Holmes reported that teachers learned new skills including how to resist an assailant, how to correctly close and lock their door so someone couldn't shoot the handle off or enter the room in any way, what kinds of things they could use in their classroom as a weapon, and how to properly disarm an intruder.

According to Holmes, "Schools are a great target because everybody knows when school is in session, everybody knows that there's going to be people there..." Holmes says that SSHS is getting safer by installing double doors that require a Student ID or check in at the office to allow entrance into the school as well as security cameras throughout campus. He states that although these precautions are important, a small school such as SSHS is so remote that anyone who is not recognizable is easily pointed out. "If you had to walk through the halls of Hellgate, how many kids would you know?" asked Holmes.

Why school shootings happen is a very controversial question that makes some reflect and others question our society. On April 20, 1999, two 17-year-old boys shot 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School. Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the shooters, speaks in a TED talk about her struggle after the tragedy. Klebold states that if anyone were to know that the shooting was going to happen, it would have been her.

Klebold had no idea that he had any intention to hurt himself or anyone else. This goes to show how hard it is to detect when a shooting will happen. "In the end what I know comes down to this: the tragic fact is that even the most vigilant and responsible of us may not be able to help," said Klebold. "But for love's sake, we must never stop trying to know the unknowable.".

An article from the Washington Post reports that in some schools across the nation, teachers are selected by the superintendent and put through extensive training and evaluation to carry a concealed gun. While there has been no speak of this at SSHS, it brings a different aspect into this issue. Would this be the solution to making students safer or would it simply contribute to violence across the country?

It may seem impossible to calculate when the next shooting will happen in the country but Holmes said "I wouldn't work here if I didn't feel safe."


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