Ruth Ellen Vaughn, Superintendent
35 School Street
Farmington, NH 03835
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Farmington High School Students Host Forum on Gun Control
FARMINGTON — Superintendent Ruth Ellen Vaughn is pleased to announce that the Farmington School District hosted a student-led forum about gun control on the heels of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and in correlation with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.
On Friday, April 20, 70 Farmington High School students and staff gathered in the library to have an open discussion about how to potentially curb gun violence and related incidents in schools.
Students generated four topic areas for open discussion, which they posed as questions to an adult panel.
- The effectiveness of the school’s current lock down procedure
- Whether or not background checks for gun purchases need to be changed
- Rules related to cell phone use during drills/emergencies
- Funding for programs meant to keep students, faculty and staff safe in school
Students involved in the discussion included moderator senior Erin Gaumond, sophomore Sydney Tarrants, sophomore Malachi Little, freshman Jaxson Niles, junior Paul Roy, junior Syllas Boisver, senior Cynthia Langley and sophomore Emma Hunting.
Guest panelists were Superintendent Vaughn, Michael D. Todd, Public Information Officer from the State of New Hampshire Department of Safety, state Rep. Joe Pitre, state Rep. James Horgan, Farmington Police Chief Jay Drury and High School Resource Officer Tom McNulty.
In response to students’ discussion, panelists reiterated the importance of the “see something, say something” philosophy.
The 2004 Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative, released by the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education, indicated that out of 37 incidents of targeted school violence, 81 percent of the time at least one person had information that the suspect was planning an attack.
Superintendent Vaughn reminded students that getting to know their peers and making connections with one another is key in preventing tragedy.
“We are continuously working with local and state representatives to keep students as safe as we can. We want them to know that they are also part of that plan and that their actions can have positive effects on others,” Superintendent Vaughn added. “During the forum, students engaged in respectful discussions with the adult panelists and this is something we look forward to replicating next year.”
Chief Drury also encouraged students to create a culture of caring for one another and if a student seems upset, let an adult know so they can see to it that the student is supported.
“I think the students were well organized and thoughtful in presenting opinions, asking questions and offering solutions,” High School Principal Dorothy Mohr said.