College-bound students say shootings left them nervous
Bush said that people should report unusual behavior.
TIPP CITY, Ohio (AP) -- High school students who heard President Bush talk Thursday about the war on terror and campus security said they are a little wary about going off to college in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings.
The audience for Bush's speech at Tippecanoe High school in this western Ohio city -- mostly local business leaders -- observed a moment of silence for Virginia Tech before the president spoke. Most of the 860 students watched the speech on television from classrooms at the school, 15 miles north of Dayton.
"It's a scary reality to think that you can be walking on campus one day and some guy can pull out some guns and just start shooting people," said Andy Lammers, an 18-year-old college-bound student. "It makes me kind of step back and notice things a little more and kind of take things day by day and just don't take things for granted."
Lacey Bradley, 18, plans to attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall.
"I'm a little scared because I'm going to be on campus with how many people I have no idea who they are," she said. "It's very intimidating."
What's behind this
At Virginia Tech, student Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people in a dorm and classroom building Monday before he killed himself.
Bush was asked by a student in the crowd Thursday how young people could feel safe in schools and what was being done to ensure security. Bush said he is confident the school's principal is committed to student safety.
"One of the lessons of these tragedies is to make sure that when people see somebody or know somebody that is exhibiting abnormal behavior to do something about it or suggest that somebody take a look," Bush said.
Outside the school, a handful of demonstrators protested Bush's talk.
"There's a violence issue here in America," said Eric Eby, 17, of the Dayton suburb of Riverside. "There's so much more we could be spending our money on, and we're just choosing not to."
Farther away from the school, about 50 protesters demonstrated against the war in Iraq. One of the protesters, Edwin Lainhart of Springfield, said a motorist stopped, pushed him and tried to knock a sign out of his hand.
"I have a stepson in Iraq and I served in Vietnam," Lainhart said. "I have earned the right to be out here."
Matt Dansereau, a 17-year-old senior at Tippecanoe High School, said the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech has been a topic of conversation in the lunchroom. He said it reminded him of the Columbine High School killings in Colorado, where 15 people died eight years ago this week.
"It kind of scared me a little bit because I'm going off to college next year," Dansereau said. "I'm sure my parents are a little worried. I'm kind of thinking about how I would react to that if I was put in that situation."
High schools around the country are stepping up security in reaction to potential threats.
Three-year-old Tippecanoe High bristles with security. Thirteen security cameras pan hallways and the parking lot. Entrance doors are locked, and visitors are buzzed in only after identifying themselves by intercom. Teachers and staff members carry key fobs that electronically open entrances.
"Anybody we don't want to let in, we don't have to let them in," Principal Chuck Wray said. "You can't be totally secure. There's no way. But it does help."
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