Missy Jenkins Smith, a survivor of the Heath High School Shooting and award winning author, has endorsed SafeDefend for its use of non-lethal advanced technology and a teacher training program which empowers teachers and ensures continued safety of students in the classroom.
Ms. Jenkins Smith became a victim of school shooting violence on December 1, 1997, when a student at her high school randomly fired a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol in the school lobby. Fifteen-year-old Smith was among the five critically injured students and was left paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.
After the shooting, Smith felt compelled to become an advocate and speak publicly about her experience and the importance of a proactive approach to school safety. Smith said, “It’s very important for people to realize that this is something that can happen anywhere.” Smith believes that more work needs to be done in the domain of school safety, adding, “Students and teachers need to understand the importance of being prepared in the event of an emergency and that these events can be prevented.”
Since the shooting, Smith has accepted her disability and reclaimed her life by speaking publicly about the incident to tens of thousands of youth and adults, garnering national media attention. Additionally, Smith has written an award winning memoir, titled, “I Choose to Be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor’s Triumph Over Tragedy.”
Watch the full interview with Missy Jenkins Smith and Valerie Jennings: