“I’m sick of kids not being safe at school;” Parents react after Auburn High shooting

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — RPS 205 administrators changed who can enter and exit Auburn High School in response to the shooting on Tuesday.

The school district put new rules into place on Wednesday morning to keep students safe, including making Auburn a closed campus and making sure that students show parking passes. However, some parents believe these are not enough.

“I’m just sick of it, I’m sick of kids not being safe at school,” said parent Heidi Underhill. “They shouldn’t be afraid and unsafe to go to school.”

“It was scary to know there was no way I can get in touch with my daughter,” added parent Ashley D. Williams.

Parents of Auburn High School said that they are worried their kids are getting too accustomed to violence.

“It almost didn’t phase her, and she was like, ‘this is what happens when you go to school,’ and I was like, ‘this is not normal,” Underhill said.

“It’s sad to know that it is becoming a norm,” Williams added. “Like, ‘hey, somebody got shot. Okay, let’s go to school, it’s normal,’ at all. It’s something they shouldn’t have to deal with.”

Williams’ freshman daughter did not go to school Wednesday, and said that she is still shaken up.

“Mentally, there’s going to be some work that needs to be done,” Williams said. “We did go seek counseling that RPS 205 offered.”

The violence will always be a concern, according to Underhill.

“I’m relieved my child was far from it, but it’s not a relief it happened,” Underhill said.

Both mothers agreed that it will take the entire community to make a difference.

“I feel like Auburn kids have to view themselves as loved kids from the community, not just a troubled school where bad things happen,” Underhill said.

“We need families to get involved, we need churches to get involved, we need everyone,” Williams added. “Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters. Everyone needs to play a part in supporting and fighting against the violence.”

The school will continue to modify and add some additional changes, which they will announce over the coming days. They encouraged parents to reach out to their student’s academy principal for questions.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos called the shooting a parent’s worst nightmare. The Representative agreed with local leaders that keeping kids safe is a community effort.

“I feel horribly for the two students who were shot, and even the three who are in custody,” Bustos said. “I think our prayers have to go out for all of the families who are involved in this, and to everybody at the school.”

Bustos was scheduled to speak to Auburn students today about the January 6 Capitol riot, but the visit was canceled due to the situation.

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