Monday night, a Connecticut native organized a candlelight vigil in Hot Springs to honor those who lost their lives in Friday’s shooting.
The mother of three who came up with the idea for the ceremony knew as soon as she heard about what happened, she had to do something to honor the victims. Others across the state now demand big security changes at our schools.
"Most of us all have children, and if not we have hearts. It was a thing for the community to get together and grieve together,” says vigil organizer Jacqueline Dziedzic.
Dziedzic grew up near Newtown, Connecticut. Devastated by Friday’s news, she knew she needed to do something to remember the victims.
“Growing up, I was in and out of a lot of different schools and there were some with good security and there were some where there was really no security at all. I know that Newtown was a little community, I had visited there many times as a child. They never felt like they needed that. I just hope that this shows that this can happen anywhere, at any time,” she added.
While Dziedzic and her friends lit candles, Monday afternoon, listeners from across the state lit up the phone lines at KARN News Radio.
“What should we do about this stuff? How should we address it? Why is it going on?” asked KARN's Dave Elswick.
Callers voiced concerns about security at our schools, gun safety, and mental health.
“A child who can not feel pain who is cognitively impaired should not be taken to the shooting range as a parental bonding experience,” says Alice from Little Rock.
“This country has been steadily downhill when they try to take God out of our schools,” said a caller named Mike.
“All right, appreciate your call. Let’s go to Sherry. Hi, Sherry, how are you?” asked Elswick.
“Thank you for taking my call, Dave. If you had every teacher carrying a cell phone, we could dial 911,” said Sherry who is a teacher.
“No matter how many different things you do, if someone is bound and determined to kill people, they will figure out a way to do it,” said Elswick.
State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson announced on the radio that he plans to form a task force that will look into school security this legislative session. He would like to see more resource officers in our schools, but he knows that would be expensive, so a possible alternative, he says, is to send some teachers to the police academy. He thinks that could be $1,500 per teacher.