BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — April will mark the 15th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Today educators in Brunswick County continued to learn valuable lessons from someone who helped handle the aftermath.
“I made a promise to them, that if we could save one life through the work we are doing with other school districts, then there child’s life would not have been in vain,” Columbine Public Relations Manager Rick Kaufman said.
Nearly a decade and a half since making that promise to the family’s of the Columbine shooting victims, Kaufman continues his mission. He helped bring peace after the 1999 shooting at the Colorado school that became synonymous with school violence.
Despite the years of focus, such violence continues.
“Unfortunately this year we have seen an uptick in the number of school shootings, but since 1992, long before the Columbine tragedy, there have been 400 student-on-student violent instances involving guns, what we call active shooters,” Kaufman said.
Kaufman says of those 400 cases, 200 of them have been averted because of the fast thinking of teachers and school administrators.
Paul Price is the principal at Shallotte Middle School. He says even though school violence has not been stopped completely, discussions like today’s in Brunswick County still have many benefits.
“To know that there is nothing that you can really do to prepare for a horrific event except to talk about the possibilities and build that teamwork and communication with your parents, students and staff,” Price said.
Price and Kaufman say planning now will help prevent trouble in the future.
Kaufman says it is important to develop a culture of teamwork, so that when a crisis hits, everyone is prepared.