DENVER (KDVR) — Students are on edge after police said a 16-year-old student was stabbed at George Washington High School Friday afternoon.
Instead of worrying about ‘if’ — students told FOX31 they now fear about ‘when’ violence will strike.
“The fact that I am saying ‘next time’ and knowing there’s going to be another event means that they know that, the staff also knows that. We all need to be taking more preventative measures to stop things like this happening,” Keira Miller, a senior at George Washington High School said.
The repeated exposure to trauma is something Clinical Psychologist Dr. Sheryl Ziegler said enlarges the amygdala, or what she calls the ‘fear center’ of the brain.
“You are more hyper-vigilant, you’re kind of more scanning rooms and places and on the lookout for danger. Being more startled, being more on edge starts to become their makeup,” Dr. Ziegler said.
Several violent events at Colorado schools
FOX31 has reported on multiple violent events taking place at schools recently in Colorado.
In September, a student at George Washington High School was arrested after police found a handgun in their backpack.
“When kids are depressed, they often look angry,” Dr. Ziegler said. “They don’t always look sad and low energy and laying around, but they’re irritable, angry, quicker to have a temper, and so these are some of the things that we are seeing in kids that could be increasing violence, agitation and overall relational type of aggression.”
Nowadays, Dr. Ziegler said she’s shifted her approach, now asking patients to focus on what they can control.
“When we live in uncertain times, we have to focus on the things that we can control,” Dr. Ziegler said. “If we all do something, that will move the needle, but we can’t just rely on a very small group of politicians or school board leaders to make a difference because this is way beyond just what’s happening in the schools.”
New updates in the stabbing
Police said the stabbing victim, a 16-year-old male, suffered non-life-threatening injuries to the left arm and hand. The suspect, an 18-year-old man, left campus after the stabbing and was arrested just minutes later at the intersection of Exposition Avenue and Leyden Street.
The suspect was arrested under suspicion of first-degree assault.
the Denver Police Department confirmed that the victim was a student, but did not say what the weapon was or whether the suspect is a student
The investigation into the stabbing at George Washington High School is still ongoing, according to DPD.