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Eastern Iowa School Grappling With Aftermath Of Attempted Shooting

North Scott Junior High via facebook
District officials are rethinking school safety plans after an attempted shooting by a student at North Scott Junior High.

Students and staff at an eastern Iowa school are still recovering after an attempted shooting last month. While North Scott Community School District officials are rethinking campus safety plans following the incident, a lack of funding may limit potential changes. 

On August 31st a 12-year-old student pulled a gun on a teacher at North Scott Junior High in Eldridge. But the safety was on when the student pulled the trigger, disabling the weapon. The teacher then wrestled the gun away, preventing any shots from being fired.

The student now faces felony charges of attempted murder and carrying a firearm on school grounds.

With no one physically injured, Superintendent Joe Stutting praised the actions of the teacher who was targeted, and of staff and students across campus, calling the handling of the incident "a good outcome." In the days following the attempted shooting, the district brought in additional counselors to provide emotional support at the school. District officials are slated to meet with parents to coach them on addressing students' concerns at home. 

But since the incident, Stutting says he's rethinking the district's safety plan and emergency response policies.

“At the same time you don’t want to make those kind of decisions in the emotions of a situation. You want to take the time to research it out, whether that’s changing a policy or adding personnel or what it might be. We’ll analyze that out," Stutting said. "Everything’s on the table.”

Community members have asked for metal detectors and additional security guards in the district. But Stutting says funding is limited.  

“Iowa doesn’t fund education to support hiring security guards, whether they’re SRO officers connected to a police force or a private one," he said.  "There’s no ongoing source for that and I think that’s something our legislators will take a look at when we get into the next session I’m sure.”

Stutting says declining enrollment in the district is also limiting resources.

Kate Payne was an Iowa City-based Reporter