By BROOKE BOYER- Here at Indiana Area Senior High School, the most prominent concern is establishing a safe place for students to further their educations. Dr. Ralph May and Mr. Robert Fatula recently visited IHS to inform students and teachers alike. Through assemblies that took place on September 11th and 12th, the speakers achieved their goal of educating and empowering those in the high school.
Students of Indiana Area High School believed this assembly was both educational and worthwhile. Senior Chase Cunningham said, “I think the assembly brought about the right mindset that in a dangerous situation, you can’t think of yourself as the victim and need to know how to take action.”
Dr. May, a psychologist and the chief clinical official at the community guidance office specializing in trauma and crisis, was the first to speak at the assembly. He informed students of their role as first responders, emphasized the importance of reporting potential threats and seeking individual help, and taught students how to look for warning signs of threats. Overall, May demonstrated the significance of mindset and showed students ways that they can prevent violent situations from arising. “Prevention requires each one of us to take action and understand warning signs in order to understand what to do,” Dr. May stated.
Mr. Robert Fatula, referred to as “Bubba,” was the second speaker. Mr. Fatula is a director of threat preparedness for Gittings Security, and he is also a retired law enforcement detective. Fatula’s main goals were to educate students on how to respond to violent situations and provide procedures to be followed. His method is to train students’ brains by sharing survival tactics and giving students a plan to follow a “run, hide, fight” protocol. Fatula expressed, “Even though this assembly was short, I want students to know that they have a right to live and make decisions in these situations.”
Junior Bella Sharbaugh expressed how educational and beneficial the assembly was. “I thought it was very helpful to learn about the new procedures, and I now know what to do if a situation like this arises at school.”
Ian Steele, a sophomore, feels that the assemblies have been an improvement for student safety and the school should continue to do as much as possible. “The active shooter assemblies were definitely a good way to spread awareness. I think the school should continue to do more for this cause.”
The assemblies presented by Dr. Ralph May and Mr. Robert Fatula are bound to have a positive effect on IHS. With new procedures being implemented throughout the school, IHS will become safer and a positive area for all to learn in.
[Photo by Erik Puskar]
Photo Caption: Mr. Robert “Bubba” Fatula informs students about what to do in an active shooter situation.
Brooke is a junior and this is her first year as a reporter on The High Arrow staff. She joined journalism in hopes of informing and entertaining peer readers within IHS.