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FSC Security plans as gun violence rises

After 11 school shootings in the month of January and 14 in total for the beginning year of 2018, Florida Southern faculty and students are questioning their security and safety on campus.

As national discussions on the prominence of school shootings continue, gun violence on K-12 and college campuses have become monthly, sometimes daily news story. The most recent at the time of this writing is the Los Angeles Sal Castro Middle School shooting, which left four students and one adult injured.

“At this time, the information suggests that this was an isolated incident, involving the negligent discharge of a firearm,” the LAPD said in a statement. “Innocent children and a staff member were unfortunately injured.”

Nearly a month before the Sal Castro shooting, a group of 16 students and faculty were injured, two fatally, at the Kentucky Marshall County High School. On Jan. 31, a Virginia Tech student was arrested for possession of an assault rifle and attempting to buy 5,000 rounds of ammunition, 11 years after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 that claimed 32 lives.

On the Florida Southern College campus, students are doing their best to stay diligent and alert. Associate Provost for Experiential Education Mary Crowe reassures students that plans are in place for any situation where there is an armed shooter.

“We have trained our faculty and staff what a proper response would be if a situation were to happen,” Crowe said. “Since each building widely differs from the next, each individual group in each building have their own plan.”

Particular areas of concern to students are the open air plaza of the BuckStop and the window-heavy buildings that cover most of Ordway. Bill Carew, Director of Campus Safety and Security, highlights the need for student responsibility in case of emergency.

“The student body will usually, outside of the police, the first to know when something is or has gone wrong,” Carew said. “That’s why we’re counting on students to use what’s available to them–their cell-phones and emergency clicker provided by safety–to alert us.”

In the case of teachers outside of campus, second-grade teacher and former FSC student Gabby Roman shared her perspective.
“We have several procedures that we follow and practice during the year in case of emergency,” Roman said. “We practice things ranging from heightened security checks, lockdowns and evacuations in case of threats of an intruder or armed shooter. “
As for the future, Roman looked on the bright side.

“I’m fortunate to feel pretty safe on my school campus. We take many precautions on school grounds to ensure that students are safe at all times,” Roman said. “As a teacher today, I’m always walking on the side of caution. The rising levels of gun violence are absolutely petrifying, yes, but it will do me no good to allow that fear to interfere with my work.”

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