ALBUQUERQUE – The superintendent of a New Mexico school district where two high school students were killed in a shooting rampage in December says existing safety plans and teacher training helped to keep more students safe that day.
Aztec Superintendent Kirk Carpenter testified Thursday before the Legislative Finance Committee as officials gathered to discuss possible strategies for boosting school security.
Carpenter described the events of Dec. 7 in which students Francisco “Paco” Fernandez and Casey Jordan Marquez were killed. Carpenter called the shooter a coward, saying the former Aztec High School student fired randomly and that the gunfire traveled through walls and windows.
Aztec Police Chief Mike Heal told lawmakers that the northwest New Mexico community has been through a lot and that he’s meeting with students to talk with them about their ideas for making the campus safer.
Lawmakers recently approved $46 million for public school security projects over the next four years, but officials acknowledge that it will take more than building upgrades and surveillance cameras to restore a sense of security in the classroom.
According to a briefing prepared by the committee’s analysts, there’s no one strategy or combination of strategies that can provide a guarantee against another school shooting.