B-A has taken steps to make school safer


Tierra Mahute

Video cameras and increased security at building entracnes are some of the steps Bellwood-Antis has taken to make school safer.

Kara Engle, Staff Writer

On Thursday, October 1, a mass shooting occurred at Umpaqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. During this horrific and shocking tragedy, nine innocent people were killed and nine others were wounded.

Mathew Downing, a student at Umpaqua and a survivor of the shooting, helped put the pieces together. He said about thirty to forty minutes into class he heard a couple shots fired.

A gunman entered the classroom, and ordered everyone to go to the center of the room. The gunman had an envelope with a message in it and chose Mathew to give it to the cops in order to spare his life. Then he asked a few of the students what religion they were and if they believed in the afterlife or not. One student told the gunman he was a Christian. The gunman shot him. Another student told the gunman he was a Catholic and that he wasn’t sure if he believed in afterlife or not. He was shot also.

These kinds of things are happening way too often.

Mass shootings, like the Oregon shooting, can cause tremors in small schools like Bellwood-Antis, and have many emotional effects on the students and faculty members.

Mr. Richard Shreier, the Bellwood-Antis High School principal expressed his sadness over the tragedy.

“I feel sad for the victims and I feel concerned about possible copycats in our local area,” he said.

In the past, things that may have seemed like isolated events often acted as contagions, with similar violence infecting other schools.

Events like that in Oregon  it raise the question, “Is our school prepared?”

Last year Bellwood-Antis School District added extra cameras at the high school entrances.

Thomas Mclnroy, the Bellwood-Antis High School superintendent has described what things Bellwood has done to be prepared, things ranging from extra security to preparedness plans.

We should also have a new emergency plan of the start of November.”

— Dr, Thomas McInry

“Well we actually just added a bunch of cameras to the elementary school as well the middle and high school. We should also have a new emergency plan of the start of November,” he said. ”As students probably already noticed we have been doing the fire drills differently.”

There may never be a “Perfect Plan” to prevent these shootings, but there are ways to limit and slow them down.

McInroy said the nature of social media plays a role.

“ What it comes down to this day and age, more than any other time in history of our country, is we have people who say they are connected, like through Facebook,” said Mr. Mclnroy. “Even though they have tons of friends on Facebook, how many face to face friends do they have? This allows them to lose contact with people and they start losing feelings for people and the society.”

Even though it may sometimes seem like schools aren’t safe, they actually are. If you compare the school shootings inside school to shootings outside school, there are many more outside of school.

Many Bellwood-Antis students feel safe here, except that doesn’t mean they don’t worry.

“I feel safe here because it’s a small town, and expect nothing to happen, but I have some doubts,”Cassidee Reiter, a freshman from Bellwood-Antis, said.

Another freshman, Hannah Wicks, also agrees.

“I feel safe here. Bellwood is a pretty safe place. It’s a small town and you never know what’s going to happen, but I still feel safe.”