Community colleges in the East working through fear after Oregon shooting

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Faculty at local community colleges here in the east say when they go into the classroom, they not only take their lesson plan but their emergency plan.

“It definitely gives you pause,” says Lenoir Community College EMS instructor Justin Tillman. “When you come to work, you certainly are a little bit more alert to your surroundings and to the students you interact with but it’s tough because you still have to come in and do your job.”

Tillman says the campus has been a buzz since the shooting in Oregon, as students and staff worry that it could happen here. He has been using the situation as a teaching opportunity for his students who are training to respond to emergencies here in the East.

“This is one of those situations where fear is something you have to set aside when you come to work,” says Tillman. “That doesn’t mean that you’re not aware of what’s going on and you’re not somewhat afraid but you can’t let that fear consume you and we can really relate that to the 911 calls you’re going to go on.”

Faculty at Pitt Community College are also working to make sure they’re prepared, just in case.

“We’ve discussed it,” says PCC Instructor Don King. “It’s a conversation that you cannot walk around and hide from.”

Students say they trust their teachers but know that a tragedy could happen anywhere.

“People are going through a lot these days and you never know what’s on their minds,” LCC student Jannese Cotton.


Some advice that we received from some faculty today: If you see something, say something, and always be kind to one another because you could be that one person who makes the difference.


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