Students React To Stabbing

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ASHLAND -- It was just another day at school for students in Schuylkill County, only one day after a school stabbing happened across the state near Pittsburgh. Faculty at North Schuylkill High School say the students are talking about it but don't seem too affected by the tragedy

It happened across the state, but students at North Schuylkilll Junior Senior High School are talking about the dangerous school stabbing near Pittsburgh.

"I thought about the students, obviously. I thought about the safety of schools, about the safety of our own school," said North Schuylkill senior Matt Smarkanic.

Smarkanic talked over what he would have done if he were there.

"How do you feel about the situation? How would you react?" said Smarkanic.

Schools can prepare and try to prevent incidents by setting up safety precautions, but guidance counselor Joe Tomtishen says no one can ever fully predict how a student will react in an emergency.

"Every kid would handle that differently. We would meet with a student, find out where they are emotionally. Are they angry? Are they scared or are they sad?"

Senior Jessie Steivers says it's hard to imagine that something so dangerous could ever happen somewhere she feels so safe.

"I don't feel afraid here ever, really. It's hard to think if it could happen what would people do? What would you do?"

With metal detectors put in place, students say they feel safe at school. In fact, while teachers say kids are talking about it, they don't seem too affected by the incident.

It's a much different reaction than what Tomtishen remembers during the Columbine tragedy in Colorado.

"It's not as shocking as I remember it in 1999. It's not that every incident isn't devastating. Then, it was like 'oh, man, I can't believe that this happened?' But now it's like 'oh man, where did it happen'?"



  • John Doe

    Ok as a student of north sckuylkil I’d like to say that we never use the metal detectors on the students also I assume know that this mass stabbing happened it’s now the knifes fault the guy staved people

  • Angela Keck

    You should really listen to these ladies. NS is horrible with dealing with the bullying issues in the school especially if the kid doing the bullying has a NS family name. Fortunately, we moved out of the distict and if it wasn’t for a select group of teachers keeping an eye out for my son I believe the torment would have been a lot worse and more scarring would have occurred for my child. I understand there is bullying in all schools, even the one we are now a part of, but the way a situation is handled can make all the difference for a child.

  • Denise Walton

    Very funny that I contact WNEP about a story regarding the torture kids get at NS and how nothing is done about it. Yet, the day after another news station does a report on it, WNEP comes in and does a story on how “safe” kids feel. Do a story on how UNSAFE students feel bc bullies get pampered and the rest of the student body suffers. Contact WYLN and get the details of how THIS mother is suing the school district over how UNSAFE this school is!! THAT IS NEWS WORTHY!!!!

  • Crista D'Angelo

    The person above is 100 percent right. North Schuylkill is filled with bullying cases that are reported yet never followed through on. Look into Hazletons news channel who just this week ran a story about the bullying of an autistic student that has been swept through the cracks because his bullies were athletes and the “popular kids” . Maybe you should do some research on that. I have another friend who kept her child back a year because this school did nothing about him being bullied and yet another who’s child retaliated on his own and became the blame of the situation. Mr. Smarcanic talks a good talk but is at the head of staff who do not follow through with policies the school has set in place for our children’s protection. SOME THING NEEDS TO BE DONE! Before this situation happens far to close to home.

  • Diane Smith

    Just watched your excerpt dealing with students at North Schuylkill and their reactions to the Pittsburgh school stabbing. As a parent of two children that attend North Schuylkill, I feel it necessary to inform you that, while there is a metal detector at North Schuylkill, the students DO NOT go through it at any point during the day. The metal detector sits off to the side when the students enter the building in the morning, and then it is “set up” to allow for scanning of visitors who enter the building. When school first began this year, with the new metal detector in place, only “chosen” students had to walk through it. They were chosen randomly each morning, while the rest of the students walked around the metal detector. I am concerned about this for two reasons. First and foremost- bullying activity at North Schuylkill is rampant and getting worse. Secondly- if a student who is bullied chooses to enter the building with kitchen knives or a gun, it will go undetected, as the students do not pass through the metal detector that was put in place to protect the students.

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