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School Board Member Talks School Safety

Meiying Wu

  A high school shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead on Wednesday, Feb. 14. While the shooting was states away, the incident serves as a moment for parents to pause and think about the safety of school children, said Christine King, Columbia Board of Education member.

“I don’t want to be so naive to say that it would never happen here,” King said. Because I don’t think you can ever stop people from making really bad and grave decisions. But I think we’re in a very good position from a safety standpoint.”

King said that current safety procedures are discussed at active shooter trainings that Columbia Public School District employees, building personnel and students attend at least once a year.

King referenced that other news reports had wrote that there were concerns in the community about the shooter before the incident. She hopes that parents empower their students to feel like they can talk to an adult if they have a concern.

“I think I would just tell parents that they need to really trust their instincts and talk to their students,” King said. “Also, don’t be afraid to go in and talk to your individual school administrators.”

Finally, King wants to remind parents to be patient with potentially inconvenient things such as the buzzer system on the doors.

 “I even find myself sometimes when the school doesn’t let me in right away, maybe because they are away from their terminal or whatever, I get a little like ‘c’mon let me in, I’m standing out here,’” King said. We just need to have a little patience with that.”