Two weeks after the Florida school shooting, Rock Valley College students are honoring the 17 lives lost that day.
They gathered on Tuesday afternoon at the Student Center. Students spoke about their personal feelings on the shooting and the impact it has had on their lives. Some parents spoke up about how their kids are afraid to go to school. Others say they refuse to be afraid.
“I have no use for fear,” said student Jalen Pulliam. “Fear is pretty useless to me. I think that fear holds people back. I think fear is how people are controlled.”
Pulliam believes now is the time for campus unity and action.
“Stick together, find your friends,” said Pulliam. “Understand that you made an impact and that everybody’s behind you and supporting you.”
But, the “We Remember” gathering also had a practical side. RVC Police Chief Joe Drought said the college’s police department has been holding active shooter training courses. It teaches students and faculty exactly what to do when faced with danger and fear.
“It’s basically a [90-120 minute] class that we teach, on what practical measures you can take to save your life or to develop a plan, if you’re faced with this type of a critical incident,” said Drought.
Even in situations where people feel helpless, Drought says they still may have control over more than we might think.
“We don’t have control over the time, location, and method of attack,” said Drought. “But, we do have some things in our control like reducing the number of victims that are available to the attacker.”