In late May, not too long after the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, there was a school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana. I haven’t done much research on it yet, but from what I gather a male student from the school shot a teacher and a female student. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.
However, in this article from USA Today, a parent whose child attends the school said something that still permeates the American psyche even after the year we’ve had with some of the most lethal school shootings ever. This parent said…
“Never thought that this would happen,” she said. “Not in Noblesville.”
For years I’ve been advising against having this mindset. In the grand scheme of things, school shootings are actually rare occurrences compared to the number of schools we have even though they’re ever increasing. However, they can and do happen anywhere. If school shootings hadn’t happened, how many of us would be aware of the towns of Littleton, Parkland, and Newtown if we didn’t live near them? That’s not even taking into account lesser remembered places like Chardon, Ohio, Aztec, New Mexico, Red Lake, Minnesota, and the like.
I’m not saying any of these are factors in the Noblesville shooting, but until we tackle the issues of lax parenting, mental health stigmatization and ease of access to firearms, we’ll never be able to say it can’t happen here.
UPDATE: According to Indiana law, since the suspect is 13 and has not been charged with murder, his case will remain in juvenile court.