Newton Schools, Town Thankful for Community Support

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Officials at Newton Municipal School District and the city of Newton say they've been overwhelmed by the support from the community since a student shot himself in the classroom at Newton High Sept. 21.

School, police and city officials held a news conference Monday to thank the public and to give an update on how the school and community are doing.

"There have been some students who've had a hard time dealing with it, but for the most part, attendance is where it has been normally," said superintendent Dr. Virginia Young. "And we are pretty confident things will be back to normal pretty soon."

"Nothing like this has ever happened around here, or if it has, it has been a long time," said Newton Mayor David Carr. "And reactions, I think, were pretty good, considering everything that did happen."

Police Chief Harvey Curry also addressed rumors that the incident was related to bullying at the school. He says, based on a note the victim left, that was not the case.

"There was no bullying at all involving this school, municipal schools, at all, none at all," said Curry.

The 17-year-old male student was new to the district. He pulled out a gun in the classroom about 1:30 p.m. Friday. Other students were evacuated from the room and then a shot was heard. The young man died of his injuries the next day.

A special community prayer service will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Newton High School auditorium. The public is invited to attend.