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After administration at Butler High School in Matthews, North Carolina, announced that classes would resume the same day as a fatal school shooting that left one dead, people on social media said the move indicated a normalization of shootings.
CNN reports that a student fatally shot another during a fight that stemming from previous bullying. Bobby McKeithen, 16, died from his injuries in a nearby hospital. The shooter, 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
At Butler High School, site of a fatal school shooting. Expecting updates throughout the day. pic.twitter.com/ODXFENbj9A— Adam Bell (@abell) October 29, 2018
Butler High School remained on lockdown for two hours as police investigated and the two students were removed from campus. The school district tweeted statements regarding the status of the campus throughout the day.
CMS ALERT: Butler High School is on lockdown after a student was shot on campus this morning. The single shooter has been apprehended and the weapon is in the possession of law enforcement.— CMS Media Relations (@CMS_MR) October 29, 2018
More information: https://t.co/iYnUVZzDdt pic.twitter.com/UumkdVCi6K
WSOTV reported that classes would resume at the North Carolina high school shortly after the lockdown was lifted. Many saw this as a sign of schools becoming desensitized to traumatic incidents like school shootings.
Imagine your classmate being shot in school and having to go to 2nd period right after.— Matt Deitsch (@MattxRed) October 29, 2018
Some kids in North Carolina don’t have to imagine that. https://t.co/6FLxhFMqzc
For context Butler is one of the largest black high schools in Charlotte. Students are still being made to attend class for the rest of the day. https://t.co/qiM7lyzv3G— Clarissa Brooks (@ClarissaMBrooks) October 29, 2018
We have officially normalized school shootings in America https://t.co/2UFeKqPTO6— skrt skrt (@shawn888wayne) October 29, 2018
No way I can concentrate in class after a shooting.— ジミー·ムーア (@jimmy6m) October 29, 2018
Tracy O. Russ, the chief communications officer for the school distrct, told Time that the campus remained open in the interest of the students and their safety.
“Our goal was to ensure that students could remain on campus and safe until such time that transportation arrangements could be made by families,” Russ said.
School officials also said that the shooting was an isolated, mishandled bullying incident between two students, and that there was no longer any danger on the school grounds, according to WCNC. Still, many online believed the administration made an ill-advised decision.
Shame on administration at Butler High School.— JacksonSugarNovels (@crazyrednovels) October 29, 2018
You DO NOT conduct business as usual when a child is shot dead in your school.
You DO NOT refuse entry to parents who've come for their children.
Once the crime scene is "secure" your duty is to the children.https://t.co/UKV7CO8J2N
Is it just me or does anyone else find it appalling that classes went on as usual after a student was murdered at Butler High School today? It’s how you desensitize against rampant gun violence, it’s a normal day in high school. Not!— Joan D (@JoanD8) October 29, 2018
This incident contributes to larger national conversation about the school shootings and gun violence. Many voices in the movement advocating for gun reform commented on Twitter.
Yet ANOTHER school shooting, this time at Butler High School.— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) October 29, 2018
Retweet if children shouldn’t be able to gain access to guns.
Today, a student was shot and killed at Butler High School - yet classes went on. Imagine what it feels like to be told to get back to normal just hours after a school shooting. We shouldn't have to live like this. https://t.co/Is8avpnJ7v— National School Walkout (@schoolwalkoutUS) October 29, 2018
Butler High School officials said that classes will resume on Thursday and that counselors will be available for students.
Alexis Tatum studies journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She's an editorial intern with the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Orange magazine and the Daily Texan.