The name Jaquerria Timmons won’t be a name you recognize. She is a 14 year old Bellingrath Middle School student that was shot and killed on Monday, May 1, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. She had just left school and was just down the street from the school where a group of students were gathered. It appears someone in the group had a gun and the gun discharged. Initial reports indicate the incident was more of an accident than a malicious action. The epidemic of weapons in and around our schools is growing with little recognition.
This shooting death was on the heels of a gun being shot off just hours earlier at McKee Middle School just 6 miles away after two juveniles were denied entry. A gun was fired into the air by the students as they fled on foot. They were apprehended after a foot pursuit. Two incidents within such close proximity didn’t warrant any national attention.
The CDC puts out an annual fact sheet on Understanding School Violence. The numbers should be a wake up call to administrators across the country. There were 31 homicides of school age youth in 2012-2013. This does not include the number of staff killed and excludes universities and colleges. This also does not reflect the number of survivors from aggravated batteries. The report shows that 4.1% of students reported carrying a gun, knife or club to school in the past month. That is 1 out of every 25 students. We have roughly 450,000 victimizations in our schools annually.
At SafeDefend we are working with school administrators to address the more likely event of a hostile attack in our schools. The epidemic of school weapons in schools is fueling the rise in incidence of violence in our schools. Teachers are immediate responders that need to be able to sound the alarm and respond to a crisis until emergency responders can arrive. SafeDefend equips school staff to do both.