Parkland shooting anniversary: mourning and learning

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - This Valentine’s Day is also a day of heartache for many in the nation. It's been one year since a former student walked into his Parkland, Florida school and killed 17 people.

Across the country, people are paying tribute to the victims of the deadliest high school shooting in history. City bells tolled, work paused for moments of silence and fellow students laid down flowers in honor of the lives lost.

Even here, 800 miles away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it's a stark reminder of how quickly tragedy can happen. Law enforcement officers say our students' safety is always a top priority.

"We want our educators to be able to focus on educating our children,” Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says. “That's what they're to do. But they can't do it if they don't feel like they're in a safe environment to do it. We don't serve the public if we don't look at things like this and try to learn something from it."

Calhoun says although all most of our local schools have resource officers, tragedies like the parkland shooting can still happen, so it's always important to be prepared.