Counseling is offered to those still anxious

By Izzy Anderson - Staff Reporters

Students who are feeling any concerns about last Friday's potential shooting incident should get in contact with Highline's Counseling Center.

Alerts of potential shots being fired on campus were sent out to all Highline students, faculty and staff members at around 9 a.m. on Feb. 16.

 Everyone at Highline was told to keep offices and classrooms locked, to stay inside, and to barricade all doors and windows. Those on their way to campus were instructed to head back home. 

"Students had varied reactions to what happened. …It is difficult, because we want them to feel safe," said Dr. Gloria Koepping, interim director of the Highline Counseling Center.

Police arrived quickly and evacuated all buildings. No active shooter was found, and no one was injured. 

"We all had different reactions based on our histories. Someone might need a little extra support or help to process what happened," said Dr. Koepping. "So it's important to talk to people. Friends, family, a counselor." 

 "I think talking through what your experience was… and talking about the lessons learned and the takeaways are what's really important here," said Dr. Koepping. 

Processing your emotions can help you take action for any future emergencies too, she said.

"You want to move from feelings, to action. Feelings can stay there and get all chaotic… so at some point you've got to think [about] what you can do going forward," she said. "You're going to want to take any little action that could make this easier on yourself [in case of] next time."

Anyone who is still feeling anxious or nervous about the incident are encouraged to seek help through communication and counseling. 

"If [someone] has a personal history that involves trauma or something before [this], then they should definitely see a counselor if they have one, and if they don't, they should come in and talk to one of us," she said. "It's free, and right here at school."

Counselors are available on-campus, and an appointment can be made to see one at the Counseling Center on the 2nd floor of Building 6. 

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