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Kaczor: Beware of 'this is the last place it could happen' mindset

By JOE CENTERS • Updated Mar 14, 2018 at 8:07 PM

MONROEVILLE — Monroeville students took time out of their Wednesday morning — 17 minutes to be exact — to honor the 17 people who were gunned down in the Feb. 14 shooting at Parkland High School in Florida.

Wednesday was a scheduled national school walk-out day to remember those who lost their lives to a single gunman.

But instead of walking out of school, teachers and administrators got the students together in the Monroeville Athletic Complex to talk about what happened.

“Today we wanted to be proactive with the school safety iniative,” high school/junior high Principal Jim Kaczor said. “We met about two weeks ago with our student leadership, talked with them about how they wanted to handle today since there was so much national coverage. Our students took it upon themselves to have a moment of silence.

“We decided to have our demonstration in the building so we had over half of our students take part in that today. It shows the passion and concern they have of this issue. I am personally glad to see so much discussion nation-wide occuring with things that can be done to make schools safer and our students safer.”

Kaczor said schools regularly have fire and tornado drills, but little is done to prepare for a mass shooting.

Like most places, the principal said the thought in Monroeville is, “this is the last place it could happen.”

And when it does happen, it’s too late.

“We really do have to have that mind-set to prepare ourselves,” Kaczor said. “We have taken it upon ourselves to hold these drills throughout the school year.”

While most of the students stayed inside, a handful of them braved the cold weather and stood in front of the MAC for a moment of silence.

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