Rash of school shootings drawing concern
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. —
After Tuesday’s school shooting in Benton, Ky., the second school shooting in the United States this week, Kirksville High School's Principal Randy Mikel said the school has taken note.
"There's probably more kids with fragile issues that they're dealing with, and so we keep on top of those issues as best we can," Mikel said.
With over 700 students at the school, an on-site counselor is available, but Mikel said he's seeing a troubling trend.
"I think that the volume of folks that seek counselor’s help for issues has increased probably ten-fold from when I started," Mikel said.
A reason the principal said he is unsure of.
"It's kind of an evolving aspect of school that goes unnoticed by a lot of folks, but if you're in the business, you get to see a lot more than that, whether it's because they're more willing to talk about it or because there are more occasions where kids are struggling with life stress," Mikel said.
Triggers that push a student to something like the events of this week is sometimes unknown, but the Mikel said there are red flags.
"If their grades start to suffer, if we see them miss a lot of school, lethargic, non-interested once they’re here," Mikel said.
If a student slips through the cracks and a crisis occurs, Mikel has this message for parents:
"They have to trust that what we are doing what is in the best interest of their children. Not zip in here and come to a lockdown place, banging the doors trying to get their kids out, because that's not a safe situation," Mikel said.
The school suffers one major problem; it comes from the layout. Built in the 60s there are many access points, but Mikel said that's also the school’s asset.
"If there is something that happens and they need to get out they get out."