NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Noblesville parents are continuing to advocate for legislative change after a gunman opened fire at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday.
The nation’s latest mass shooting comes just one day before the four-year anniversary of an active shooter at Noblesville West Middle School.
On May 25 2018, police said a seventh grade boy shot and critically injured a 13-year-old girl at Noblesville West Middle School. A heroic science teacher was also shot and hospitalized after tackling the shooter.
“We want to make the best of a difficult situation and move forward and try and stop other people from having to suffer through these things also,” said Steve Rogers, a parent whose child attended Noblesville West Middle School at the time of the shooting.
Rogers said, in the weeks following the shooting, he and other parents banded together to form “Noblesville Stands Together.” Together the parents advocate for better gun safety and school resources.
“We’re very fortunate that it wasn’t worse than it was – given what we learned later in court about the child’s intentions,” said Rogers. “More than anything else we’re just heartbroken that all of these families, and yet another community, has to suffer with the after effects of this violent epidemic of gun violence that we have in this country.”
Rogers said the parents are focused on three issues:
- More mental health resources – finding ways to identify and intervene when students are at risk.
- Increased safety measures – implementing physical measures for school security and hiring more school resource officers.
- Responsible gun ownership – ensuring proper gun safety training is taught to all gun owners and enforcing accountability if someone’s firearm ends up in the wrong hands.
“Those children’s lives mattered, that teacher’s life mattered, and unfortunately their lives are being met with real callous disregard from people who are in power,” said Rogers. “[Legislators] have the ability to do something about this but have not been able to summon the moral and political courage that is necessary to do something.”
Officials with Noblesville Schools said the community helped pass a referendum in November 2018 to provide the district with additional funding for increase safety measures and more mental health resources.
Rogers said he is very proud of the progress the district has made, but he wants the same acknowledgement on the state or even federal level.
“There are lots of rights in the country, and right now we have politicians who are seemingly only focused on the rights of gun owners instead of the rights of everyone else who just wants to live without fear,” said Rogers.