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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Back to normal?

Friday, October 19, 2007

It was back to normal for students and faculty at Van Buren Elementary School Friday morning.

At least as normal as it could be.

Van Buren Principal Gail Williams said the students in attendance Friday were ready and prepared for a “normal” day.

“They’ve been very positive,” Williams said.

Williams is referring to the reaction students had one day after a shooting incident took place at the school.

Just before 1 p.m. Thursday, a bullet traveled through both glass door windows on the west side of the building and went into the ceiling of the cafeteria.

Law enforcement officials believe the shooting took place from a moving vehicle on Harmony Road (County Road 200 East), right in front of the school.

No students were injured after the incident, but a school custodian was taken to St. Vincent Clay Hospital after shards of glass struck the employee in the eye. He was released later Thursday and Williams said he was back to work Friday.

“It’s a miracle,” she said. “Somebody was looking out for us.”

Williams said Van Buren has an enrollment of 235 students. While only two students missed school Thursday, 71 were out Friday.

However, she said she expected that.

Williams said counselors at the school were prepared to have discussions with students throughout the day. She said she had thought of putting on a convocation regarding the issue, but rather, visited each classroom at the beginning of the school day Friday letting the students know she was willing to talk about the incident with them.

“I had a few in the younger grades (want to talk),” she said. “But it’s been very positive. It’s gone smoothly.

“I confirmed (with the students) that we were very well-protected. We were just kind of coming in and seeing what would happen. We’re trying to make it as normal of a day as we can for the kids. But all the kids are doing fine.”

Williams said there were teachers that were shaken up after Thursday’s shooting, but that they seemed fine Friday.

“I’m just very proud of the staff,” she said. “They kept the kids calm. It went really smooth.

“I’m just amazed how smoothly everything ran. Even yesterday, when we were in lockdown, there was no panic.”

Williams said there have been random reports of damage of school premises, but nothing like this had ever happened during a school day.

“I’m more amazed that it happened during the school day,” she said. “I’m shocked that anyone would put children in danger like that.”

Law enforcement were on hand as students arrived at the school Friday and planned on being there throughout the day.

“I’m not sure if (the students) saw the police officers,” Williams said. “They are being very discrete.

“It’s a routine day right now. It’s amazing how calm everything is.”

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My son Bryton goes to Van Buren. Thank you Gail and all of your staff for making my son feel safe and making sure he got to his Aunt Gayle. Thank you for being calm and keeping the panic factor down. Thank you Pam for dealing with a mom that was "crazy" on the phone. You all done a wonderful job.

-- Posted by IndyBklyn99 on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 10:18 AM

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