MGCCC students react to Oregon shooting; say they feel safe - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MGCCC students react to Oregon shooting; say they feel safe

Students say despite recent tragedies, they feel safe. (Photo source: WLOX News) Students say despite recent tragedies, they feel safe. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Administrators say a safety plan is in place, and is updated when necessary. (Photo source: WLOX News) Administrators say a safety plan is in place, and is updated when necessary. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The latest tragedy on a community college campus in Oregon has renewed the nation's debate about things like gun control and mental health treatment.

However, it's the safety of students that's weighing heavily on school administrators across the country.

Students at the Jeff Davis campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College were more saddened than shocked to learn about the latest mass shooting on a campus in Oregon.

“Just makes you think; never know when it may happen,” said Julian Carey, MGCCC sophomore.

College students say the Oregon shooting is certainly tragic but, sadly, not surprising in today’s world.

“Throughout our history, we've had a lot of school shootings and I mean, it's devastating,” said Dezmon Santana.

Even so, students at the Jeff Davis campus say they feel safe at school.

“We have a pretty good security system here. Police officers along with cameras and other officers that make us feel safe,” said Carey.

MGCCC Vice President Michael Heindl says safety and emergency preparedness are at the top of the priority list at Gulf Coast.

“We have an emergency action plan at each of our locations. And what it does is it helps our employees, our faculty, our students know what to do in the event of an emergency,” Heindl explained.

Still, it doesn't stop Katie Peterson's mom from worrying about her daughter's safety.

“She always tells me scenarios, what would happen in a case like that. 'What would you do?' And she keeps telling me that every single day,” said Peterson.

Gulf Oaks mental health professional Chris Ras says his first reaction to the news was simply, not again.

“This is happening with increasing frequency. It's here to stay and it needs to be addressed. There's many issues that need to be addressed in terms of the gun control side or the mental health side. This appears to be a combination of both in this case,” said Ras.

Heindl says the emergency preparedness plan includes a communication system for warning students and faculty of a situation through text messages and e-mail. The plan is reviewed frequently and updated when necessary.

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