Wilkes-Barre Students Reflect on Parkland Anniversary

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- As students walked into G.A.R. Memorial Junior/Senior High School in Wilkes-Barre, some stopped to remember a somber anniversary.

One year ago, on February 14, 2018, there were 17 people gunned down at a Florida high school.

The past year has changed how some students feel about their safety.

"I was kind of scared because I was only in the sixth grade. I was like, 'is my school going to come next?' I didn't know. I was actually kind of scared and actually kind of grateful that it wasn't our school," said Makayla Dellaragione of Wilkes-Barre.

"I feel a little safer, like our teachers do what they can to protect us and everything. Yeah, I feel safe," said Areyona Jowers of Wilkes-Barre.

After the shootings in Florida, there was a security meeting in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. District officials decided that high school students would walk through metal detectors every single day. Prior to the shootings they only walked through occasionally.

Students said it is a good idea, but more can be done.

"Someone could still walk in and just walk right past it and our school could be gone. A lot of kids in our school could be gone," said Kailey Kepler of Wilkes-Barre.

"They still don't have certain safety measures to stop it from actually happening. They only have the metal detectors, but that's when we go through the school. That's not when people could be around it doing whatever they can. There's still people fighting every day around the school. They still don't even know how to stop that so there's no way they could stop a shooting," said Damon Wimms of Wilkes-Barre.

The Wilkes-Barre Area district has police officers inside the buildings, known as resource officers.

"At VoTech they have a lot of like security they have a lot of police officers in charge of doing a lot of stuff. They're there to keep us safe," said Felix Beltre of Wilkes-Barre.

District officials say they do all they can to ensure student safety.

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