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Blogging about shootings

People around the world were appalled at the April 16th shootings of 32 people at Virginia Tech University by a student who then went on to take his own life.

Some seniors at Leonardo Da Vinci High School, which is on the D'Youville College campus, expressed their feelings about the shootings in a blog entry at the request of English teacher Kelly Monaco Hannon.

"I came up with the topic after speaking to family and friends about theshootings and after being inundated with images and information from themedia," said Hannon. "Everyone wanted to point fingers and find someone to blame for what happened. I, of course, had my own feelings about the shootings but I really wanted to know how my students, as seniors ready to go off to college very soon, were feeling about the entire incident."

Millany Rivera, 18, wrote: "I think that it was what finally opened up the eyes of America and let everyone realize that we are no longer safe. Not even in our own schools." Many students, like Rivera, stated in their blog entries that school used to be a place that was safe, now it's just like anywhere else.

"Honestly it felt horrible to know that when individuals are paying thousands of dollars to attend college, the security was not able to guard their lives," wrote Dimaye Roig-Morales, 17. "Honestly I am so scared to go off to college, which is normal for a senior, but what am I supposed to think now?"

Many of the students felt that the university was to blame for what happened. Many stated in their blog entries that communication could have been improved. "Sending an e-mail to the students of Virginia Tech was not the best route to go," wrote Melissa Sopko, 18. "It wouldn't help the people who were already in class, or slept late and didn't have time to check their e-mail before going to class. What about them? Were they just supposed to guess that this man, a fellow student, was going to go on this rampage?" Some of the students noted that a quicker way to communicate with students in an emergency situation would be text messages to student cell phones.

Other students in their blogs mentioned how easy it was for Cho Seung-Hui to obtain the guns. "He should never have had been able to obtain these weapons so easily. The gun laws in Virginia are so loose," wrote Lloyd Hunt, 18.

Angela Hejna is a senior at Leonardo Da Vinci High School.

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