About three thousand people call Eatonville home. It’s a close knit, neighbor-helping-neighbor kind of community, like many other communities in Pierce County.
Last Thursday, about 150 residents, nearly all of them parents, gathered at Eatonville High School for a discussion about school violence and threats of school violence. The goals were to share information and listen to each other.
Parents want to know their concerns are being heard and they want to know how to arm their children, not with a weapon, but with the knowledge they will need should the unthinkable happen at their school.
What’s being done to make our schools harder targets? What do our children need to know to protect themselves? What are the laws on school threats? Those were just some of the questions asked by concerned parents.
School administrators, the School Resource Officer (SRO), and a security expert shared information about how school shootings happen and where in the building a shooting is most likely to happen. The students also learned how to use the things around them to protect themselves. Prosecutor Lindquist and Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Benton, the Juvenile Division Chief, discussed the law with parents.
Parents are frustrated, but also encouraged that steps are being taken to protect students.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our schools and the safety of our children,” Prosecutor Lindquist began. He has a long history in Eatonville, having served as a deputy prosecutor in the town 20 years ago.
Deputy Prosecutor Benton echoed Lindquist’s focus on the safety of students. “If a threat is made, it will be taken seriously,” Benton said.
Prosecutor Lindquist also unveiled a new project his office is undertaking. The plan is to speak to every junior high, middle and high school in the county about school violence. The presentations will also include information about bullying.
The prosecutor and other deputy prosecutors will deliver the presentations. They will be brief and informative and will make clear what kids can expect if they are caught making threats and what they should do if they hear someone making a threat.
The goal is to make schools as safe as possible.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].