Guest Post: Preventing Mass Killings with Kindness | Bent | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Guest Post: Preventing Mass Killings with Kindness 

By Molly Boyle, Sisters High School Student

Our country was devastated by the 2012 Sandy Hook Shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed in a shooting spree. Schools all around the United States tightened security by installing metal detectors and bulletproof glass, and performing routine lockdown drills. However, regardless of the measures taken by our schools, within 14 months of the mass shooting, at least 44 school shootings occurred around the country. These shootings ranged from fatal to non-fatal assaults, suicides, and unintentional shootings that resulted in 28 deaths and 37 non-fatal gunshot injuries.

These numbers are incredibly alarming, and unfortunately, one of our very own Central Oregon students adds to the number of casualties brought by school-related violence. Having the ability to recognize the risk factors of violence and learning to prevent the horrid outcome is crucial to the safety and well being of our community.

Zachary Leyes, 17, was a student at Bend High School who recently took his own life during his American Sign Language class. There were countless news reports, Instagram posts, and Facebook statuses of community members reaching out to Bend High students as well as to his family. It was evident that all of Central Oregon was affected by Zach Leyes’ death. The fact that he had taken his own life was heartbreaking and his parents said in an interview with the Bend Bulletin “we hope that this horrible situation will raise awareness and prevent more teen suicides in the future.”

About The Author

Erin Rook

Erin is the Source Weekly's Associate Editor. Before moving to Bend in 2013, Erin worked as a writer and editor for publications in Portland including PQ Monthly and Just Out. He has also written for the Willamette Week, El Hispanic News, Travel Portland, OUT City, Boston magazine and the Taunton Daily Gazette...
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