Douglas School Shooting Motivates West G.

Senior Girls Create a Student – inspired Safety Committee


Angelle and Grace

Unless someone has been living in a vacuum for the past month, s/he is painfully aware that school safety is once again at the top of the news shows since the tragic shooting at Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. School administrators across the nation are reviewing policies, looking at emergency response scenarios, and making sure the students and staff know “what to do” should a crisis arrive. That’s part of their job. But what about the students ? Perhaps some kids were inspired by what they saw from the students in Florida, or maybe some just wanted to make a difference. Whatever the reason, West Geauga has some of those students who would rather be proactive than reactive.

Senior Grace Carter had the idea to create a Student Safety Committee. She is currently looking into improving and strengthening the program. She introduced the idea in February to West Geauga’s principal, Mr. Jay Bishop, after being inspired by the campaigning done by Douglas students. Grace says the purpose of the committee is to provide a safe learning environment for students, along with open discussion with school administrators. “I want students to feel comfortable speaking up, and I want the community to feel our school is as safe as possible,” she said.

The group is currently led by Grace, Mr. Bishop, guidance counselor Mrs. Kim Zannetti, and fellow senior, Angelle MacIntire. Students are being recruited to be a part of the group and Grace is hoping to reach 5-10 students, a number she hopes will grow in time. The committee will continue in the upcoming months for, “…as long as necessary,” Grace said. “Safety is a constant effort.” The students and administrators meet frequently to discuss concerns and ideas.

Mr. Bishop hopes that one outcome of the Student Safety Committee will, “…improve school culture to where everyone is looking out for each other and if red flags come up in student conversations, adults can intervene and provide help to the students.” Mr. Bishop thinks it’s important to have open communication between school administrators and students about their points of views, regarding school safety. He wants students to be able to come to school focused on learning.

Grace wants the community to know that, “The students’ voices are being heard and we are taking action.”