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Community members discuss solutions for problem of guns on campus

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So far, this school year, there have been 9 incidents of guns on CCSD campuses. One of those incidents, happening at Canyon Springs High School, was deadly.

At the City Hall on Thursday, around 40 people from the community listened to a presentation from Darrell Scott. Scott’s daughter, Rachel, was one of the first people killed in the Columbine High School Massacre on April 20, 1999.

“Rachel was my middle child, and she was 17-years-old when she was killed,” Scott said.

A month before she was killed, he says she shared this message with her family, from an essay she wrote for class.

“She said, ‘I have this theory that if one person will go out of their way to show compassion, it will start a chain reaction of the same,’” Scott said.

He shares this message with communities around the country, as he teaches them about “Rachel’s Challenge.” After sharing Rachel’s story with the audience on Thursday in Las Vegas, he hopes people in the Las Vegas community will empower their children with compassion.

“What Rachel’s Challenge does, is long-term prevention,” he said. “We reach the hearts of kids before they get to that stage of violence, but that happens over a period of time.”

He acknowledges, however, that there isn’t an easy solution to the problem of students bringing guns to campus, and it will take more than empowering them with compassion.

“I’d hate to see our schools turn into prisons. But at the same time, I’m for anything that protects children,” he said. “We need a multi-faceted approach to the solution.”

After the deadly shooting at Canyon Springs High School, CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara formed a safety advisory group to discuss solutions to the issue.

“Everything is on the table to make sure that I do everything in my power to maintain our children's’ safety,” Dr. Jara said.

He added that he’s encouraging parents, staff, and other members of the community to share their thoughts and concerns.

“We need to know what their concerns are so we can address it,” he said. “Concerns on safety and other issues.”

In the meantime, as Dr. Jara and the safety advisory group continue to try and find solutions to the problem, Scott says he understands why parents would be nervous and anxious. However, he hopes they don’t instill fear in their kids.

“Schools, statistically, are still very safe. I know it doesn’t feel like that,” he said. “One of the things I encourage parents to not do is to transmit anxiety and fear to their children.”

Parents and other members of the community wrote down their thoughts for solutions on note cards at the event, which event organizers say will go to the safety advisory group. Some of the suggestions included more law enforcement presence on campus and bag checks.

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