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Perry Hall High Shooting: What You Need to Know

Catonsville High Principal Deborah Bittner said the shooting was addressed at the school in the afternoon announcements.

With information still developing after one student shot another in the cafeteria at Perry Hall High School Monday morning, here's the information you need to know.

Perry Hall High School reopened on time Tuesday with extra security, .

Dr. S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, who was hired to his position over the summer break, released the following the statement:

What happened earlier today is a shock and a tragedy. Speaking on behalf of the entire BCPS community, our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family.

This school year, we expect to educate more than 106,000 students in our schools. The safety of students and staff is our paramount concern and priority. Schools must be safe to be conducive for teaching and learning.

Our schools have emergency plans in place that are updated annually. Perry Hall High School followed its plan and cooperated with police.

As challenging as today was, I am extremely proud of Principal George Roberts and the school community. Students responded maturely, and the faculty, through its quick intervention, saved lives and captured the assailant.

We will work together to make this the best school year for Team BCPS.

Patch reported the shooter is in custody and is . He is expected to be charged.

Students and parents meanwhile to thank guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer, who eyewitnesses say tackled the shooter to the ground.

At , Principal Deborah Bittner said she made an announcement about the shooting in the afternoon announcements.

Just last week the school staff had reviewed the Code Red emergency policies and also gone through some training exercises, she said.

This year the staff spent more time discussing situations like school shootings, in the wake of the movie theater shooting in Colorado, Bittner said.

"Parents send their students to schools and expect their students to be safe," she said. "When you hear of something horrific like this, it's very concerning."

Catonsville's School Resource Officer Sundia Gaynor has used Facebook and social media to investigate school incidents before, Bittner said.

Bittner said the school also still keeps one entrance in the school unlocked during the day, which is the main entrance facing Bloomsbury Avenue.

"We are very vigilant about how we handle the school building," she said.

joann coleman August 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Wow its really sad that chidren have to be more concerned about their safety then education
Pat August 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Thanks for sharing that CHS keeps one entrance unlocked and the location! Hopefully that entrance is secured by staff.
Penny Riordan August 28, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Pat, I think it's common for most high schools to keep one entrance unlocked, as so many parents and students come in and out during the day for internships, early dismissal, etc. I can't speak to every day, but I think it's pretty clear that when you enter the high school through that entrance where you are supposed to go and a staff member will stop you if you don't have a visitor badge.
Andrea August 28, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I thought that most schools keep the door locked and require that you are buzzed in, directed to the main office to show id, sign in, etc. However, the main question is, how did a student manage to bring a shotgun into school. Are we now going to have to resort to having metal detectors and random locker searches in county schools? One question I would like parents to think about...what are your children watching on TV, who are they hanging out with, and what is their home and spiritual life like? Feed them life and love, not the images and thoughts of death and anger and hate.
Dean Tippett August 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Having been a PTA president at my daughters' school and a concerned parent, I have always thought that the one entrance into a school should open directly into the school office, forcing all who enter stop in the office before going further into the school. This would be better than depending on people to read a sign telling them to stop in the office, as bad people are unlikely to follow the direction and report to the office if they intend to do harm, whether that is a robbery, a physical assault or a sexual assault on a student or teacher. Every person who enters a school should be made to pass through the main office by design. Even deliveries could be made to the office. I can't think of a reason why someone should not first report to the office. Let's find ways to make our schools as safe as possible!

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