Rigby residents say they’re getting amazing support after school shooting
RIGBY, IDAHO – People in the town of Rigby Idaho say they’re getting an overwhelming display of support from neighboring communities after a achool shooting where a sixth grade girl brought a gun to Rigby Middle School and injured three people.
When the shots first rang out on school grounds, teacher Janet Carter thought she heard thunder. She says her students thought it was noise from construction crews working on another part of the school. However, things changed once she heard the announcement the school was locking down.
Carter says, “We didn’t know if it was real, or not, but then we heard sirens and we heard a lot of yelling and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is real.’”
Carter took her students to a U-shaped storage unit and waited there for roughly 45 minutes. She says the students were remarkably well-composed while they were waiting for the “all clear.”
“The kids stayed calm. There was a little bit of crying, but lots of hugging and lots of support. The students took good care of each other,” she says.
Students like Mikayla Dean also rushed into a closet when the lockdown was announced. She says her teacher did a very good job keeping everyone relaxed.
She says, “We were texting our parents, and [our teacher] told us, ‘Guys, we’re going to be ok.’ She was just really nice to us.”
Dean isn’t certain if she will take advantage of the grief counseling that’s being offered by the school district, but she’s thankful that the counselors are available. She believes some of her friends might need it.
“When we got out of the closet, me and my friends were shaking, a little bit. A couple of my friends were just really upset and didn’t know how to think about this,” she says. “It’s kind of traumatizing.”
Her mother, Melissa Dean, says the shooting at the school has brought the Rigby community close with fellow residents and business owners doing what they can to lift the spirits of the town.
“They were handing out free snow cones in town and free drinks. Everybody was just coming together to show love and support,” she says.
Students from other high schools have already left banners and hearts on school grounds, and people from the nearby city of Rexburg are also showing their support.
“They are gathering a whole bunch of hearts from their community and their students and they’re bringing them down to put on our school,” Dean says. “They’re asking their people to shop in Rigby today to support us.”
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