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Here's The Message To Students As They Return To Classes After Another School Shooting

Union County Schools

If you see something, say something. That’s the message many school systems are emphasizing as students return to class today after Friday’s school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, in which 10 people were killed.

“We are here to support our students, and to make sure their physical, social and emotional health is taken care of, “ says Union County Schools Superintendent Drew Houlihan. “We all need to be vigilant, and if there’s anything going on with a student or staff member or a parent we need to know about, please let us know.”

Houlihan says it’s important for schools to be proactive in preventing school shootings, and a big part of that is improving mental health services in schools. He says Union County Schools’ budget request calls for hiring 30 social workers and counselors over three years, plus upgrades in campus security.

Mooresville High principal Eric Schwarzenegger says the Texas school shooting is another grim reminder of the need to encourage kids to come forward if they see anything suspicious. He says that was going to be emphasized in Monday’s morning announcements, but that is also business as usual.

“With the events this year, this is something we have pushed out more in calls home or morning announcements,” Schwarzenegger said. “And of course, any report that comes through we take those all seriously and look into all of them.”

Schwarzenegger says the school has received a few reports a week from concerned students since the shooting in Parkland, Fla.

“They hear something a student says that is concerning, some of them are that they’re worried about students’ well-being in terms of their own mental health and self-harm. We see our student body really just concerned and we want to be sure that nothing is missed by the administration.”

He says it’s important for concerned students to feel they have support, something he believes is sometimes lost in discussions over school safety.

Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.