Nevada school shooting echoes Newtown

October 22, 2013 

The student’s tale will unfold in the days to come. Another classmate thought perhaps he had been bullied, and that’s why it happened, why he opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun in a Nevada middle school, in the city of Sparks.

The two students who were wounded thankfully will survive. But a hero died in the school Monday morning, and his name was Michael Landsberry. Landsberry was a math teacher, well-liked by students, and a former Marine who served in Afghanistan. He approached the student with the gun and his actions, according to those in the school, saved lives by giving other students time to flee.

The shooter apparently brought a handgun in from his home. This is not the first school shooting since the Newtown tragedy in December of 2012, when 20 first graders and six staff members died in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. There have been nine others, including at colleges, reports the Moyers & Company website.

These incidents give pause to, and for that matter, frighten parents everywhere, and why not? We think of schools as sanctuaries, as “safe places,” as the places we tell children to go if they are out somewhere and feel threatened. And that is exactly what they ought to be, and what in most cases, in most places, they are.

In the next weeks, the citizens of Sparks and the parents from this middle school will doubtless ponder what can be done to protect our young ones. So will we all.

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