Education

Deer Creek Middle School: No news is good news -- especially after last week

A Channel 9 report from Deer Creek Middle School about the first day of classes since a shooting last week injured two students is brief and uninformative -- and I couldn't be more relieved.

As I pointed out in a blog about how close to home the Deer Creek assaults struck, all three of my kids attended the middle school, and my niece -- my goddaughter -- is currently a student there; she was already on a bus when Bruco Eastwood opened fire. She returned to campus on Friday during an open house, accompanied by one of my daughters -- and judging by the reports I got, the event couldn't have been handled better.

For one thing, security was very high, with personnel checking and double-checking student IDs to make certain no unauthorized folks had run the gauntlet. For another, media was kept at bay; neither my daughter nor my niece reported having to dodge cameras or recorder-wielding reporters.

Inside, the lobby was filled with posters from other schools -- Chatfield High School, Deer Creek's feeder school, and Columbine were both well represented -- offering words of encouragement, and attendees could also sign cards and other messages thanking first responders, law enforcement and others for their quick action.

Finally, staffers like Dr. David Benke were everywhere, communicating warmly with students they knew, and students they didn't. Example: My daughter's favorite teacher specializes in eighth grade social studies -- but she was able to introduce her cousin to her, establishing a connection that will no doubt bear fruit by this time next year.

Events like this shouldn't make headlines. With luck, they won't do so in the future.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts