School Shootings and the Impact: Student Engagement Dean Facilitates Open Dialogue

By Luc Hoekstra – Campus Editor

A group of 20 students and staff including instructors, members of the ASCC, Student Ambassadors and the Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment Team met for an open discussion about school shootings impacting the attendees and what to do about it, facilitated by Dean of Student Engagement Cath Busha, from noon to 1 p.m. on March 16.

The attendees, ranging from people who grew up around guns to those who have never handled a firearm, agreed that though one of the recent school shootings was in Florida, it still was close to home for Clark community members who have experienced local shootings. Many said school shootings are not normal, but American society has normalized them by not talking about them for fear of being too political.

When attendees discussed why they were at the session, many expressed fear of young family members being killed in school and feeling disheartened by children having to prepare for school shootings, creating more fear.

Attendees said social media creates a mindset that perpetuates school shootings, but gun violence goes further back than people typically think.

The group discussed addressing shootings as part of instructors lessons and what that could look like. They agreed regular discussion groups involving students is vital.

Faculty at the talk promoted mental health resources including community mental health resources, the Counseling and Health Center where students can see on-campus therapists for free and various crisis hotlines.

Clark offers an online guide for lockdown and active shooter situations on their website.

About Luc Hoekstra (39 Articles)
Luc is a 24-year-old student journalist in Vancouver, Washington. They will graduate from Clark College in 2019 having earned an Associates of Arts degree and a News Media Studies certificate. In their news writing, Luc often covers the theater, music and art departments. Luc has been published in the Columbian and is an arts freelancer at the Portland Mercury. Luc enjoys reading Mark Twain and classic Greek mythology.

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