Juniata County Shooting Death

Posted on January 19, 2009

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January 16th, 2009 – Freezing cold temperatures keep Juniata County students home from school.

THIS POST IS IN NO WAY BLAMING THE SCHOOL FOR THE DEATH SIMPLY ONE INCIDENT THAT CONTRIBUTED IT TO HAPPEN.  GUNS AND PROPERLY TEACHING GUN SAFETY IS THE CULPRIT IN THIS DEATH.
School cancellations have been a big talk around here lately and this did not bode well for the administration.  Schools are NOT to be looked at as babysitters for our children.

Many who read that first statement will re-read it and wonder if I said it wrong.  NO schools were not closed because of snow but because of the temperature that day.  With the school closing that meant some older yet still young children were at home alone while parents were working.  This area is notorious for closing the doors to schools when the temperatures falls below a certain point as it is with other schools in the nation (according to those that answered me on twitter today).  They are also good at following the footsteps of other schools in the area.  I use to sit back when my kids were off school for subzero temperatures thinking “Wow, wish I could have been that lucky as a child” but my feelings on that have changed after the incident that happened on Friday January 16th 2009.

At 1:15pm the Pennsylvania State Police were notified of a shooting in Port Royal, Juniata County, PA.  When they arrived they found two juvenilles alone ages 14 and 13.  The 14 yr old was dead upon arrival.

As of this weekend not much was released about the story due to the childrens ages but even without the reports in the paper more people are now speaking about the incident.  Apparently (these are not official reports) the children were home alone and wanted to make a YouTube video about a fake suicide.  A gun that was found in the home of the 13 yr old was the premise of the suicide but the gun was not checked for ammo and the accidental shooting happened.

I’m not laying blame on one person or another but look at all the things that could have gone differently.   One thing to look at is…had the schools NOT cancelled school for the day (they even announced the cancellation on Thursday before they left school) it may not have happened.  A 2 hour delay would have been plenty since a lot of other schools did that instead of causing another Makeup day.  A lot of things that happened that day could have definately prevented this from happening.  I just feel that our school districts have gone really “soft” when it comes to closings and delays.  Even to the point where they cancelled school one day because the day before the forcast was calling for a significant amount of snow fall.  It ended up only being a dusting of snow.  In my opinion, I think schools need to think long and hard before jumping the gun and following in the footsteps of others.

Ultimately, teaching these children about gun safety was the real reason for the death.  Also with middle school children and even older children, a safe should have been in place to prevent the untimely death of a child.

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