Portage Northern responds to the Parkland shooting

Cameron Myers, Photographer

News coverage has been dominated with the recent event of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Portage Northern has been impacted by this unfortunate event by students having blood related relatives living in Florida. Living in fear with anxiety, junior Lena Klemm worries for her family down in Florida, “Having family in Florida was the hardest thing when I heard about the shootings. My immediate reaction was to call them and make sure they were okay.”

But now the real question is, will everyone be the same? Fear and anxiety has been spread through schools all over the country, and freshman Hailey Mitchell says, “Of course I’m a little scared and always looking out for suspicious actions. I did feel safe at our school, but now I’m a little worried.” The school is taking extra steps to make sure students and staff are safe, including thoroughly investigating all potential threats, no matter how seemingly insignificant, and updating teachers on ALICE protocols. Principal Jim French says,  “We don’t ever want to to live with fear being a part of what we do because that will destroy what we stand for.”

Additional safety procedures have also been implemented at Northern: there are only 3 entrances into the building in the morning, and then just one once school begins. Science teacher Jessica Clark supports these new safety habits.  “I mentioned that we need to keep our classroom doors locked or be prepared to lock them quickly in case of any emergency,” she said.