Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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At least 2 dead in Ky. school shooting

A shooting Tuesday morning at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, in the western part of the state, has left two students dead and 17 people wounded, ABC News reports.

The suspect, a 15-year-old male student, was taken into custody, Kentucky Gov Matt Bevin said, in what was described as “a nonviolent apprehension,” the New York Times reported. Police said the shooter, who was not immediately identified, entered the school with a handgun at 7:59 AM. He’ll be charged with murder and attempted murder, according to the State Police.

CNN reported that a boy and a girl, both 15 years old, were killed. The girl died at the scene, and the boy died at a hospital, according to State Police Commissioner Richard W Sanders.

More than a dozen students were taken to hospitals, some by helicopter, with gunshot wounds. The conditions were not immediately available for any of them, except for the two who had died.

Benton is a about 200 miles southwest of Louisville and about 120 miles northwest of Nashville. About 31,000 people live in Marshall County. “All schools work to prevent school violence and schools are very safe places,” the school posted on its website. When talking with kids about school violence, the school advises telling them:

  • We all play a role in school safety. Be observant and let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous, or frightened.
  • Senseless violence is hard for everyone to understand. Providing children with opportunities to do things they enjoy, sticking to a normal routine, and being with friends and family can help students feel better and keep them from worrying about the event.
  • Access to guns is one of the leading risk factors for deadly violence. Thus, it is important that children be kept away from guns and other weapons. It is equally important that children be encouraged to tell an adult if they know someone has a gun.
  • Students can be part of a positive solution to school violence by participating in antiviolence programs at school, learning conflict mediation skills, and seeking help from an adult if they or a peer is struggling with anger, depression, or other emotions they cannot control.

Marshall County High School serves more than 1,300 students in grades 9 through 12 with about 80 full-time teachers. About 44 percent of its students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and the demographics show that the student population is about 98 percent white.

This was the second school shooting in as many days, as a 15-year-old girl was shot, allegedly by a classmate, Monday in a school cafeteria in Italy, Texas. She’s expected to recover.

Within the last week, gun paraphernalia has also been a factor in the operation of two Chicago-area high schools.

Mundelein police charged a student at Mundelein High School with disorderly conduct for bringing a BB gun to school yesterday, The Mundelein Review reports. The school was temporarily put on a soft lockdown. And bullets were discovered in a hallway at Huntley High School, causing that school to be placed on lockdown Friday, the McHenry County News reported.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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