Newspaper Archive of
Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
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October 2, 2003     Tri-County News
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October 2, 2003
 

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Page 2 It could just as well have been Kimball, or The details of that fateful day last week have been pretty well played out in the media. Every- one responded better than ex- pected - including the alleged shooter who gave up quickly and quietly. Law enforcement arrived in mere seconds and, by all reports, people remained calm and professional. This was one of those occa- sions, though, that made me question my career choice. I heard the dispatch calls shortly before noon last Wednesday. As it became clear what had hap- pened, I thought about the Co/d Spring Record publisher, Mike Austreng. I couldn't imagine be- ingrin his shoes - and still can't. A press conference was held Thursday afternoon; the Tr/- County News attended and were just about the only local "small" media. The "big guys" were there with all their "IV cameras. A still photographer climbed around people with his camera and gi- gantic lens; every click of the shutter sounded more like a team of horses clopping through the room. There was one guy posted outside the main en- trance (where students were gathering to console each other) with a TV camera waiting to "catch" good close-ups of stu- dents sobbing with each other. "Sometimes I hate my job," I said to myself as I snapped the obligatory photos. No, I don't hate my career, I sometimes don't like what some in the pro- fession believe they have to do in order to sell a few more newspa- pers or attract a few more view- ers. As a staff, we knew we had nearly a week to work on the sto- r so we didn't need such "in- your-face" sensationalism, which isn't our style. That night I watched some of those "big guys" on the TV news. They repeated the facts present- ed at the press conference. Some dug deeper and provided more information. Many added spec- ulation as to motive. It's human nature to want to know that giant looming ques- tion here: WHY?. Because the al- leged shooter is a minor, we may never have that question an- swered. But we want an explanation. We want to identify a person or circumstance as the cause of school violence in general. That way, if we eliminate a cause, we can feel "safe" from future tragedy. The difficult answer is that there/s no single cause. There is- n't one person to take the blame. There can be no guarantee. We're all responsible for rais- ing children in our community to be moral, caring and confi- dent people. We can take what happened in our neighboring school district as a call to do everything we can for each and every child in our own school district. " ..... Cold Spring is very much like so many other smaller Midwest- ern communities. It's a little big- ger than Kimball or Eden Valley- but it could have been us. Or An- nandale, or Litchfield. That's ter- rifying to those of us who have felt safely removed from the vio- lence and incomprehensible grief that's usually "out there" somewhere distant. All we can do is be our best, each one of us. We can prepare, be sensitive to students and families, and tndy care for each other. Meanwhile, we also can pray for the entire community of Cold Spring as they find a way through this tragedy and the un- wanted notoriety it brings. At last week's press conference, !teacher Mark Johnson (above) demonstrates how he stopped the alleged shooter. At upper fight, Rocori Superintendent Staska commends students, emergency i and school staff response. At i centot right, em family of Aaron Rollins pledge to turn this into sometlJfing positive - for Aaron's sake. Below, students gather at a memorial at Re,cod high school with flag at hag-mt. The Tri-County News (USPS 639-180) is entered at the Office, Kimball, Minnesota, 55353, as icals. It News; P.O. Box Jean Doran Matua: Editor and Publisher Candi Walz: News Editor and News Writer Kristen guldsiak: News Writer The Tr/- News is Steams Co. Jacki ger:. Special Projects and Photography cled paper ever possible N content is the may Watershed District, Steams County, and Fair Haven, Kingston and Maine Prairie.