Tuesday, November 12, 2013

School Shooting in Nevada

Lauren Mangano
Opinions Editor

On Monday, October 21, Sparks Middle School in Nevada was sent into chaos when a student opened fire in the early morning, wounding two students and killing a teacher. The shooter then turned to gun on himself.
 According to CNN, “Students described...how they ran into the school screaming and crying when they realized the pops they heard were gunshots just before the morning bell welcomed them back from fall break.”
 The shooter had taken a semiautomatic handgun from his parents to get the job done; his motive is still unclear.
 Amaya Newton, a student at Sparks Middle School, told CNN that the student who opened fire was always “a really nice kid” and made people smile whenever they were having a bad day. Newton also commented saying that she thought the shooter was friends with the two 12-year-old schoolmates he wounded.
 One of the wounded students was shot in the stomach, and the other was shot in the shoulder.
 Mike Landsberry, a popular math teacher at the school as well as a former Marine, was killed in the midst of the shooting. Reggie Landsberry, his brother, said that Mike was probably trying to “talk the kid down and protect whoever he could,” when he was killed outside on the playground.
 City officials said authorities received emergency calls about the shooting at around 7:15 a.m. on Monday morning. According to authorities, students were taken to a nearby high school to meet their parents. School was cancelled for a week for the students at Sparks, and it was cancelled for a day at closeby Agnes Risley Elementary School.
 As one of several school shootings this year in the U.S., Sparks Middle School is not alone in their recovery. A shooting took place at an Atlanta middle school in January, as well as in a high school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in August. And the country still has not forgotten about the Newtown shooting, when 26 students were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
 The tragic shooting in Nevada is just another reminder that parents, teachers, and schools need to continue finding solutions to keep students safe.


  1. When there is a severe disconnect between the stats reported to the state by our school district and the stats that students report in a survey, then we have one heck of a serious problem. In the school year 2011-2012, just five incidents of bullying were reported to the state by the district. Yet according to the youth survey taken by our students, 53.7% of females and 68.1 % of males reported that they have "Been called names, made fun of or teased." In addition, 10.2 % of the females and 13.15 of males reported that "other students threatening or forcing you to do things." The Pa. Board of Education has stated in writing that every school district,501 of them has under reported instances of bullying for 2011-2012.So the question is what can students do to make sure the number of instances are indeed reported?

  2. At the Dec.16th 2013 School Board meeting, I suggested to the Board that the School District's Anti-Bullying Committee that met for just a few times last spring be resurrected. Guess what ? The response from all the members of the Board and all the administrators including the supt. was analogous to the "deer in the headlights" scenario. They said absolutely nothing. Apparently, they think that this district does not have a bullying problem. By the way, did anything interesting happen a few weeks ago in the high school cafeteria?