Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2001

Columbine administrator to speak with community

April 26, 2001

The phrase "school violence" has become commonplace in American society. Over the past few years there have been several violent incidents in schools but none are as remembered or as publicized as that of Columbine High School.

On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., shot and killed 12 students and one teacher before taking their own lives. Though the event remains a tragedy in American history, it has now become a learning experience one from which Eudora can benefit.

Columbine administrator Richard Veech will address area residents in a community forum at 7 p.m. May 3 at Eudora High. The speech is scheduled to take place in the EHS auditorium and may move to the gymnasium if needed.

Veech will speak about the Columbine shooting and share with audience members steps that should be taken before, during and after a crisis situation.

In February, Eudora West Elementary Principal Rod Moyer attended an anti-terrorism workshop, which focused on a multi-hazard safety program for schools. A sergeant in the National Guard, Moyer was there to learn how the guard should deal with a crisis situation. He felt Eudora schools could benefit as well.

"We have a good crisis plan, but after listening to him speak it needs to be refined," Moyer said.

Moyer said students in elementary grades and younger may not comprehend Veech's message and said the subject matter might be unsuitable for some middle school students. High school students and all adults in the community are encouraged to attend.

On May 4, Veech will meet with school administrators, the Douglas County Sheriff's Department, Eudora Police and Fire Departments, Eudora Emergency Medical Services and media representatives. Veech will work with the groups to help organize a crisis plan should any emergency incident occur.

Aside from school violence, Moyer said the meeting would help in other situations such as fire drills, bomb threats and hazardous material training. Most importantly, he said, it would help the community become prepared and know how to react.

"It's going to get us moving in the right direction," he said.

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