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School Shootings: Should Parents Be Informed Even When Plans Fall Through?

School Shootings: Should Parents Be Informed Even When Plans Fall Through?

As a parent, my biggest fear is something happening to my daughter. When we are together I can protect her from the world with everything I got but when I send her to school, her safety is in the hands of others. This constantly is a worry for me because I am always reminded by the lack of common sense people in power positions seem to have.

My family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2013 without knowing anyone in the area. We were trying to give our daughter the best life possible. Iowa offered everything that we considered important and I still stand by my decision to move here but I have learned although Iowa schools are highly rated, they are not without their share of problems.

Cedar Rapids School Shootings Jefferson

The school my daughter attends is a newer building with a lot to offer, it rates a 9 on one of the highest ranking school research websites, they have state of the art materials and use the newest technology to ensure each student gets a good education.

All of these facts looked great when searching for a place to relocate but there is always some very important information that is missing, how would they handle tragedies like school shootings and if someone were planning to harm other students but for one reason or another the plans changed, would the school inform parents?

In my experience, you can ask these questions all day to the administrators at your children’s school but chances are you will get vague prepared answers that sound great on the surface but lack any real plan of action. This has become more obvious after recent events that have taken place in a Cedar Rapids High School this past week.

Jefferson High School Cedar Rapids School Shootings

Last week I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and I stumbled upon a story of an attempted suicide outside of a local Cedar Rapids high school. I read the story which did not give a lot of details but it painted the picture of a young man bringing a firearm to school and attempting to take his own life just outside of the building.

I continued to read the comments that a few people closer to the situation than myself had left on the news story. Some people claimed the boy was bullied and some claimed he was planning on bringing the gun inside to shoot other students. Obviously there is no way for me to decipher who actually knows what they are talking about and who is just trying to stir the pot but I did draw my own conclusions from what I read.

If he brought a gun to school, I feel that he was planning on killing others and most likely students that have bullied him. It seems to me that this is the conclusion most people with common sense would come to but like I mentioned earlier people in power positions sometimes are without common sense and apparently they have not drawn this same conclusion.

I contacted one of the commenters on the news story because they had mentioned the boy who ultimately died from his self inflicted wounds, was trolled online by bullies and another person must have seen my comment because they then sent me links to what is assumed to be his Youtube channel.

Feel free to check it out yourself, if this is indeed his youtube account it’s days being live are numbered as I am sure the powers that be will want to remove any trace of evidence that this kid has issues that went unnoticed by all.

The commenters on his most viewed video titled “school” have channels of their own full of videos about school shootings and videos titled School Shooter Fandom, High School Massacre, and videos glamorizing previous school shootings. One of his commenters even said “I knew it…. He would try to do something“.

Usually when a tragedy happens everyone reads through any public social media posts they can get their hands on and then try to link even the most insignificant details posted to signs that something was wrong for a long time.

There is no need to make something of nothing in this case because one look at the collection of videos on this youtube account will be enough to confirm that this youtuber had an obsession with violence, more specifically school shootings and massacres.

Cedar Rapids School Shootings

Although the parents are undoubtedly going through a hard time right now I think there needs to be some kind of accountability on their part. Where did their son get a gun? How come they were not monitoring his Youtube channel and if he was being bullied to the point he felt the need to take his own life or kill others, how come they missed all of the signs?

Some may think it is heartless to place any blame on parents who are grieving the loss of their son but if this ended in the way it seemed to be headed and he took the lives of other students at Jefferson High School, everyone would be pointing fingers at the parents. We would be demanding answers and wanting to know how a teenager plotted to murder his classmates without his parents or the school staff noticing. 

Another issue I have is with how the school has handled this situation. The first news that was posted about this case was on Friday stating a student suffered a gunshot wound and the school went on lockdown. The second news story came out a little later and it said that it was an apparent suicide attempt and the “victim” was taken to the hospital. The next story was that the “victim’ died from the self inflicted gunshot wound. There was no mention of a plan to shoot others and even if this is speculation I think the parents of other students in the school should have been informed of all of the details right away.

For all we know the shooter may have had a partner in crime that did not show up to school that day which could have led to the change in plans, this would mean they still pose a threat to students.

Keep in mind I do not have all of the facts but there seems to be one recurring rumor in all of the comment threads related to this case. Allegedly a teacher knew that this kid was planning on killing other students and somehow deterred him from this right before he killed himself. If this is the case, why did this teacher let him leave knowing he had this intention and according to that same rumor after meeting with the teacher he then killed himself.

What are your thoughts on this situation, should the school handle possible school shootings that didn’t happen in the same manner as school shootings that did happen and give out as much information as possible or hold back until they have all of the facts? Should parents be held accountable for their kids actions in cases like this?

Keep in mind if your child was a student at this school, would you feel like they were in danger and want to be kept up to date as the story unfolds?

Bryan Vice

Tuesday 4th of April 2017

I think this is every parent's nightmare. They should be able to pick up on signs. i would rather be safe than sorry. and i do believe it is the school system's responsibility

Christina Aliperti

Saturday 17th of September 2016

I think they need to take this more seriously and find out all of the truth. You can't be too safe when it comes to protecting the children.

lauren happel

Friday 16th of September 2016

As a parent I think the schools should inform me (and all other parents) about anything like this. It should be made known so parents can talk to their kids about it even if the plan wasn't followed thru

Melissa

Friday 16th of September 2016

I agree. At the very least people can open a dialogue about what they would do in the worst case scenario.

Terri Beavers

Friday 16th of September 2016

Parents should always be told if something were going to happen but didn't. I would have wanted to know about this incident.

Annemarie LeBlanc

Thursday 15th of September 2016

This is indeed a scary situation for the students and their parents. I worry about this everyday. My son and my niece attend university but their campus has a hospital and a big cathedral which is open to the public. I only hope that despite the open gates, people would still be vigilant in spotting "threats." I also think that social media would not at all help troubled teens/youngsters with thoughtless comments. As parents, we must always have an open line of communication with our children to learn if they are suffering from any form of anxiety or depression.

Melissa

Friday 16th of September 2016

I agree that parents need to communicate with their children and they need to be able to come to them with this kind of thing.