• PLU student creates "Will My School Be Next" website to prevent school shootings

    By: Deborah Horne

    Updated:

    Gracie Anderson, a student at Pacific Lutheran University, is calling on state lawmakers to take action in the wake of the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead, most of whom were students.

    Anderson said she fears for her own life while in school.

    In fact, she says she has lived with that fear since the fatal shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school more than five years ago. 

    Anderson said she wants state lawmakers to make keeping them safe a priority.

    "It's definitely a constant fear for me," she said on the leafy campus of Pacific Lutheran University.

    Yet, even here, she said she and her peers fear what happened last week at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

    "Immediately I wondered, 'Will I be next?'" she said. "And could PLU be next?"

    So Anderson created this Facebook page. It includes photographs of her peers holding signs, including the names of their own school or the sibling they worry about.  A onetime member of the Legislative Youth Advisory Council, Anderson said her message is aimed at getting lawmakers to act.

    "We're just asking for change to happen," she said. "And we want this to be an issue that's at the top of their list."

    Anderson said she's not asking for gun control, or guns on campus, or more guards.

    "We're just asking for something," she said.

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    Just last week, Joshua O'Connor's grandmother turned him into Everett Police after she discovered he had written a journal about building pressure cooker bombs that he wanted to use to cause mass casualties at a school.

    In an interview with National Public Radio, the principal of Aces High School where O'Connor was a student said she never would have suspected him of plotting mass murder.  

    "Did that match up with the student that you knew?" Amy Montanye Johnson was asked.

    "Not in the least little bit," she said.

    But she was in for a shock when Everett police took him into custody in her office.

    "It was at that point that the police officer discovered the knife that he had in his pants, in a place where I would never have found it." Montanye-Johnson said.

    Anderson said her Facebook page has already gotten 50,000 views from around the country.

    This week, they plan to visit local schools to help spread their message.
     

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