DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Hillside High School principal Dr. William Logan says everyone is still processing what happened Wednesday afternoon after two students were shot along the nearby American Tobacco Trail.
A 17-year-old died while a 15-year-old is recovering from injuries.
Logan says there are unanswered questions causing anxiety around the campus.
“Until we actually go back into that space where we all take ownership and put aside our different philosophies, our different positions, our egos, whatever it is, and focus on doing what is going to be in the best interest of our students and the Durham community at large, we’re going to keep seeing these things happen,” he said.
He believes the staff is doing their best to keep children safe when they’re inside the school.
Logan encourages students to stay on campus, but 11th- and 12th-graders who have permission from their parents are allowed to leave for lunch. Students are encouraged to stay on main roads and take a vehicle. They’re also told not to use the trails at all.
“We don’t work at the gas station across the street and down the street,” Logan said. “We don’t work on the American Tobacco Trail. So it behooves you to make sure that you’re here in a space where we can see you so that you’re not a victim of a crime or that you’re possibly perpetrating a crime.”
CBS 17 asked Logan about the possibility of changing protocols to keep kids safer.
“For me, I made the decision to require everybody to stay on campus until further notice unless you’re driving a vehicle,” Logan, who has worked at the school since 2004, said.
While Hillside has a school resource officer, Logan is open to the potential of bringing in metal detectors. He says the school had them in the past, but it took about two hours just to get everyone inside the building.
Wendell Tabb, a retired Hillside teacher, created a play called “State of Urgency” that addresses gun violence in part. It starts next Wednesday and is scheduled for at least nine performances.
“Hopefully, if we would’ve done the play last week or the week before that, maybe, we could’ve reached some of these kids and this tragedy wouldn’t even have happened,” Tabb said.
Now, school leaders say it’s time for an honest community conversation. Tabb believes his play is a start.
“It’s not them [actors] addressing gun violence from afar,” he said. “Now, they understand it because now it hit home.”
The shooting suspect is still on the loose.