Lessons Learned from Timberview


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After the incident at Timberview all are wondering what lessons we can take away from that horrific day.

On October 6, what began as a seemingly normal school day for Mansfield ISD ended in shock, as a 18-year student of Timberview opened fire in the school, injuring 4. The incident sparked the implementation of safety protocols across the district, including an hour-long lockdown and eventual evacuation of Timberview, as well as the cancellation of afternoon sessions\\ at Ben Barber and lockdowns at several other Mansfield ISD schools. 

The Arlington Police Force, who were the first responders to the scene, first received reports of a shooting around 9:15 AM that day. This information was relayed to the outside media from 30 minutes to an hour later. However, due to social media, some information surrounding the shooting emerged before the situation was officially declared. Senior, Zachary White, inadvertently knew of the potential for violence at Timberview before the shooting happened. 

“I first learned what was going on probably a few hours before it actually happened, because a girl at the school who knew the guy that shot up Timberview texted ‘I just got notice there might be a school shooting at Timberview,’ and later, a few minutes before class ended, my teacher pulled up the local news, and it was all over the place. The same girl also actually got sent a video of the shooting,” explained White.

While school shootings have occurred elsewhere in the country and in the state of Texas, Mansfield itself has only had sporadic incidents with guns, according to The Dallas Evening News. Mansfield ISD’s response to the unprecedented situation was complicated by the district internet service going down as concerned guardians across the district sought to bring their children home for the day. Librarian, Patricia Becht, feels that the district’s communication over the situation was adequate as a whole, but that dealing with checking out students was a problem for Lake Ridge that day.

 “I feel like they were good about reaching out, but it was limited as we did not have access to technology. We knew what to do with the students, but it was hard getting the students out of school as we couldn’t look them up and find the parent, so that part was very difficult,” explained Becht.

As with school shootings elsewhere, the shooting at Timberview has led to a renewed debate over safety protocols in school. A recent district meeting approved the addition of 2 more police officers to each campus as well as off duty Mansfield Police officers, as well as random checks for weapons, as well as drugs by using canines. This is in addition to the ID requirement that has been in place, as well as strict penalties for opening unauthorised doors. Senior, Nathaniel Adesokan, is doubtful about the school’s current strategy to prevent such an event. “If you really think about it, anybody could walk into school. I think they are doing some unimportant things instead of looking for things that can be life altering, like a shooter. I don’t think we would be ready,” said Adesokan.

Though the shooting at Timberview was an event that Mansfield ISD has not had to deal with before, in the end the school was declared safe, Timberview students were successfully evacuated from the school and reunited with their guardians at the Performing Arts Center, the shooter was arrested, and his victims, one in critical condition, have recovered. However, such an event could have an effect on the district beyond that one day. History Teacher Brandon Austin still finds the event as being difficult to accept, and that there is not one answer to doing so. 

“I was very proud about how the school pulled together that day. I myself had a difficult time processing what happened, and I don’t think I have fully processed it yet. You can overreact in a situation like this, you can underreact in a situation like this, I don’t really know what either of those look like,” said Austin. 

The shooting at Timberview High School was a shocking event for Mansfield ISD, and it remains to be seen what affects it will have on the rest of the school year.