PERRY HALL, Md. (WJZ) — It’s the first day of school for students across the Baltimore region but this is a day of remembrance for students at Perry Hall High School. It’s been one year since a teen opened fire on his fellow students.
Monique Griego has more.
After the shooting, Baltimore County spent millions of dollars to improve school security. As for the students, they say it’s important to them to put the shooting behind them and move forward.
The kickoff of fall classes comes to an end at Perry Hall High School. As students leave campus Monday, it’s a much different scene than one year ago when, on the first day of school, shots rang out in the cafeteria.
“First gunshot went off and no one knew what it was and then we all turned around and I saw him standing there, holding a shotgun,” said one student.
The gunman, 15-year-old Robert Gladden, Jr., shot fellow student 17-year-old Daniel Borowy in the back. The chaos surrounding that day is something students remember well.
“They were scared. They kind of didn’t know what to do because they didn’t expect that to happen here,” said one student.
“Some of the kids that were actually in the cafeteria when it happened, they have trouble going back in there,” said a student.
After the shooting, Baltimore County spent $3.7 million on new security measures.
“We do have two student resource officers who have the capability, if we need them to, to wand a student if we feel that there’s something on them,” said one official.
The school also has more cameras, a new buzzer system and a mandatory check-in procedure in which visitors’ IDs are scanned.
“The front doors are locked during the day and you have to buzz to get back into the school and there were police cars out front,” said a student.
Students at the school say for the most part, things are back to normal. The shooting didn’t break their spirit; it just led to a more secure environment.
“It just made the school safer,” said a student.
“I guess it makes you feel safer than you normally would,” said a student.
Gladden pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to 35 years behind bars.
The victim, Daniel Borowy, made a full recovery and was able to return to school.