More counselors, heightened police presence in Jefferson County schools after shooting

Students in the Jefferson County School District will have access to 25 additional school counselors and experience a “heightened police presence” when they return to school Tuesday, Superintendent Chad Martin announced during a live Facebook broadcast Monday afternoon.

“We will continue to educate students for the remainder of the school year,” Martin said from his office, four days after police say a sixth-grade girl shot two of her schoolmates and a custodian at Rigby Middle School.

Victims’ injuries were non-fatal, but the ordeal shook the rural East Idaho community and prompted district-wide school closures Friday and Monday.

Martin, who thanked surrounding school districts for the extra counselors, wants students to feel safe when they return this week. He called on community members to “keep a close eye on kids,” watching for changes in behavior, appearance, hygiene and other verbal cues.

Martin retraced events from Thursday’s shooting, including a teacher who “loved a handgun” away from a student, and how support for those injured has “permeated the whole community.”

Martin also encouraged the community “not to accuse a wrong child,” an apparent reference to the sixth-grader suspected of carrying out the shooting.

“Be careful of speculation,” Martin said.

Further reading: Some $47,000 had been raised for victims of the shooting as of Friday.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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