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Archive for Friday, June 3, 2011

Shooting of McLouth student in Costa Rica gives some Lawrence parents pause

USD 342 Superintendent Steve Splichal releases information about MHS student Justin Johnston, who died early Thursday morning. He was the victim of an overnight shooting while in Costa Rica.

June 3, 2011

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McLouth High School student Justin Johnston, 16, was shot and killed Thursday, June 2, 2011, while on a trip to Costa Rica with the school's Spanish Club.

McLouth High School student Justin Johnston, 16, was shot and killed Thursday, June 2, 2011, while on a trip to Costa Rica with the school's Spanish Club.

Lora Schneider’s son Jackson, a Free State sophomore, was on his way back from an educational tour in Washington, D.C., when she heard about the death of a McLouth student in Costa Rica.

“My heart just dropped,” Schneider said. “I just went numb. We’re all kind of shocked.”

Schneider said she’d considered sending her son on a trip overseas, and might still do so in the future, but the news about the shooting death of Justin Johnston certainly gives her pause.

It also provided her an opportunity to sit her son down and have a serious discussion about following safety measures when on such trips.

Wayne Dedloff’s son, Hunter, also a Free State sophomore, was on the same D.C. trip. They had also considered an overseas trip for Hunter, but decided against it.

Dedloff said he was “a little apprehensive” about sending his son overseas, but that the shooting in Costa Rica didn’t have a big impact on his level of concern.

“It can happen anywhere,” said Dedloff of potentially dangerous situations on educational trips.

Schneider said the recent news has been a hot topic among parents, and many were just relieved when there sons and daughters returned safely from the trip Thursday night.

“(Jackson) got an extra big hug when he got home,” she said.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

KCMO news reported the security guard has been charged with homicide.

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fu7il3 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't think you can assume the guard was poorly trained, or trigger-happy,even. It's not like he startled took out his gun and shot the kid without seeing him. He saw what he perceived as a threat to the people he was supposed to be protecting. Reasonable, considering they were coming in through the barbed wire fence. He fired a warning shot, and the threat ran towards the people he was paid to protect. He managed to kill his threat with a .22, which means he was pretty accurate.

It's a shame that it was a kid sneaking away in a foreign country at 4am, but if it had been a robber or kidnapper who had run in, grabbed this same kid, taken him hostage, robbed him, or killed him, the guard would be in hot water because he just let the guy run into the hotel.

They should have at least had one adult in each one of the hotel rooms. I can't imagine anything good that is going to happen by leaving these kids unsupervised in foreign country, even if you think they are in bed.

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fudgystuff 2 years, 10 months ago

This is a terrible accident and should have never happened--- however I have to say I am opposed to student trips outside the US. Too many things have happened to students over the past 5 yrs. Why does a spanish class feel that they need to travel to Costa Rica? I took spanish myself & never had to travel out of the US for a class trip. All sorts of things can happen when you're in a strange county where everything is unfamiliar. I would like to know the age of the people in charge and why they were out of the hotel at 4:00 am?????? This could have easily been avoided. Very sad that another life needs to be taken for a unnecessary trip. Lets get back to the real reason of school & classes and stop the overseas trips. Regardless of where the money comes from.......

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MarcoPogo 2 years, 10 months ago

I got that Jackson got an extra big hug.

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geekin_topekan 2 years, 10 months ago

"It also provided her an opportunity to sit her son down and have a serious discussion about following safety measures when on such trips." ++++ And the thought never crossed her mind prior?

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Children traveling abroad need a little guidance.

When visiting other countries it might be best to stay with the group until one becomes familiar with the foreign environment. Becoming familiar will take a while.

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