With Taft Shooting, Small Towns No Longer a Safe Haven

Jan. 16, 2013 / By

South Kern Sol, First Person, Staff, Posted: Jan 12, 2013
Editor’s Note: Following the December tragedy in Newtown, Conn., another small town, Taft, Calif., is reeling from a school shooting this week. Students in the surrounding Kern County, at the southern end of California’s rural Central Valley, say the incident has heightened concerns over school safety. Worried that schools in small towns – once considered havens from the violence plaguing urban areas – may no longer be safe, they are calling for stepped up measures to protect students.

José Pinto, 17: I heard about the shooting from fellow classmates, since Golden Valley High School isn’t far from Taft Union High School. It’s less than 32 miles … the thought that it wasn’t very far from us made it even more terrifying.

The big questions are: Do we feel safe at school? And what measures do we think schools should take to ensure the safety of its students? Golden Valley High closes the main gate to the school and the only ways in are through the parking lot or the main office. This is a good way to improve safety but is it enough? It doesn’t take much for someone with a gun to get into a school.

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