By David Hodges
On Thursday, Alamance Community College planned for the unpredictable: a shooter on campus. With the help of local security firm Enviro-Safe, Alamance County law enforcement, emergency services and school personnel worked for more more than a month to set up an emergency simulation on the school’s campus.
Alamance Community County President Martin Nadelman found out quickly, though, that it’s impossible to prepare too much.
“You think what you write down is absolutely going to work perfectly,” Nadelman said. “And there’s probably fifty things we didn’t think about.”
What happened behind the police tape is just a simulation, but everyone at the scene said the practice it provided is important because an event like this can happen at any school, anywhere.
That’s a feeling a few Elon students know all too well now.
“My graduation day at Episcopal now is not only about me graduating,” said Elon senior and Episcopal School of Jacksonville graduate, Ashton Vincenty. “It’s now kind of about that last contact I had with her.”
Headmaster Dale Regan was shot and killed by Shane Schumerth, a recently fired teacher, at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville in Florida last Tuesday. Schumerth took his own life moments later.
No students were harmed, but Vincenty’s brother Jack Vincenty, a senior at Episcopal who is attending Elon next year, is still having a hard time believing it happened at his school.
“It was just completely overwhelming and I was just in complete shock honestly,” Jack said. “You just kind of think…like did that really just happen.”
From this reporter, who also received his diploma Ms. Regan at Episcopal, it leaves a huge hole in all of our hearts.
“One thing that’s really bizarre…is I painted this picture of graduation in my mind of her handing me my diploma,” Jack said. “That was the image of graduation, and it’s just like, now it’s hard to picture what that will be like.”
Maybe the only thing harder than planning for something so horrifying is imagining a future after it already happened.