As high schoolers around the country walked out of their classrooms to push for gun policy reform, a student was injured in a gun-related incident Friday morning in Ocala, Florida, according to CNN. The wound is not considered life-threatening.
The altercation occurred moments before the students of Forest High School were about to participate in a voluntary anti-violence demonstration, a planned walk-out announced on the school’s official Twitter account the night before.
Law Enforcement Officials responded quickly following the incident, placing the suspect in custody within three minutes, according to WFTV. CBS News reports that the students were then escorted off campus in busses by law officers on motorcycles. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office instructed citizens to avoid the area through a Facebook post. In the post, the Sheriff’s Office emphasized rumor control, announcing that “No other Marion County Schools have had a shooting,” and that other schools are on Code Yellow only as “a precaution.” Parents and students were later reunited at the First Baptist Church of Ocala.
Because of the incident, all school walk-outs planned for today throughout Marion County have been cancelled, said school board member Nancy Stacy. TIME noted that the walk-out was part of a nationwide demonstration meant to protest violence in schools on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.
CNN declared this morning’s altercation the twentieth school shooting of the year. Yet a closer look at the numbers reveals that this number may be less than accurate, according to The Washington Post. Because Everytown defines a “school shooting,” as “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds,” and not dependent on the context or consequences of the discharge, the number is subject to inflation.
Despite these vague statistics, it remains clear that there is a definite need for new strategies to be put into place in order to protect students across the country and prevent future violent incidents.