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Local High School Reacts To Violence

May 5, 2014, 7:39 AM by Brittany Larson

Local High School Reacts To Violence
HARRISBURG, SD -

A teenager in Waseca, Minnesota is being charged with multiple counts of attempted first-degree murder, possessing explosive devices and criminal damage to property. A juvenile petition says he told police he intended to kill "as many students as he could."

In order to create a safe environment for students and staff, school officials at Harrsiburg High School say it's all about making the students feel welcomed.

"The more you can feel like students are welcomed that they have self-worth and that there's future, we just work on selling hope here and if they have lots of hope and they can see a great future then I think they can see this as sacred ground and a place where they feel welcomed and warm and none of those tragedies occur," Principal at Harrisburg High School, Kevin Lein said.

Studies show that there's been no real reduction in the number of U.S. school shootings despite increased security put in place after the rampage at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

"First our sorrow and our empathy that goes for those other communities, those terrible tragedies don't go away they stay with them for life. And then it makes us incredibly sensitive to the things we need to be proactive and to be preventative. Unfortunately we live in that kind of world now and I don't think things are completely preventative and we just do our best to ensure the community the safety of their children is the first thing we have most in our minds," Lein said.

"Like it kinda makes me worried because it could happen but you never know. I don't see it happening here but it does make me a little worried when it happens in schools. Like when I think of someone doing that I don't think it happening to my school it's just surreal," Freshman at Harrisburg High School Stephanie Gabel said.

For added security, Harrisburg High School has a school resource officer on hand.

"Just his presence I think makes a difference and our school resource officer fortunately for us is very friendly and really tries to get to know the kids and he's not here just as some kind of enforcement he's really here as a friends and someone who can be assistive. So we are really fortunate that way and I think the kids really enjoy having him too and they feel safer that he's within their presence," Lein said.
 

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