Recent shootings and pipe bomb mailings prompted students in the Leadership in a Diverse Society class to organize and moderate a meeting Thursday X-block.
The event allowed students and teachers to discuss and reflect on the shootings in Pittsburgh, Jeffersontown, Thousand Oaks, and Tallahassee, along with the sending of pipe bombs to Democratic leaders and various media outlets, in a safe, open environment.
Principal Henry Turner approached students in the Leadership class to suggest that they organize and moderate a meeting to discuss the recent events, according to senior Sam Steenstrup.
“He wanted us to create a space to talk, and I think that’s exactly what we did in a way,” Steenstrup said. “I think and I hope that people who needed to come and talk did.”
Senior Cecilia Powderly, who took part in the discussion, added that although time spent speaking on such tragedies is small, she is happy with how the conversation went.
“We now have to go back to our normal lives, and that is really hard,” Powderly said. “We are all busy all the time, and the fact that we could only talk about it for 40 minutes, it just isn’t enough.”
Senior Samson Kampler began the conversation by saying that places of worship, schools, and other areas should always be considered safe, but he doesn’t feel that is true anymore.
“The idea that I can’t go pray without a guard there,” Kampler said. “It scares me. I feel there is no safe place anymore.”
According to vice principal Amy Winston, the administration discussed adding security guards and providing student resources in light of the national increase in violence with school police officer John Panica.
“We decided to take it one step at a time,” Winston said. “We have been working to get Officer Panica known. We are also looking to make sure all of our students are getting the mental health support they need.”