I know why the schools must do it, but the reality of kids learning how to react to a shooter in their midst hurts my heart.  

How Have Recent School Shootings Affected Kids Locally?

It boggles my mind that our children are so afraid just to go to school every day. I’ve seen the evidence, in the wake of the shooting in Nashville that left 3 children and 3 adults dead. In Skowhegan, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office says school was canceled in reaction to a social media post showing a person with what appeared to be a rifle. As it turns out, that was an airsoft weapon and the individual seen carrying it was cooperative and non-threatening with police. And at Lake Region High School in Naples, Skowhegan Police say students reported to administrators that an unknown male dressed in black, and carrying a backpack, had been spotted in the halls. A quick investigation determined that the young man had walked in with a Lake Region student and then left as the school day started. Innocent but frightening for young people who have been taught to watch for anything out of the ordinary.

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Is Live Shooter Training Necessary? 

Understand, I don't blame the young people for being concerned. I understand the need for live shooter training, unfortunately. It really is an imperative part of the curriculum these days, like fire drills. But the fact that there have been enough school shootings to warrant the need breaks my heart and infuriates me, all in the same breath.  

Does It Make You Miss the 'Good Old Days?'

Remember school when we were young? For me, the only thing I was afraid of was that Mr. Pooler at Brewer High School would call on me in Earth Science or...well...report card day. That was always scary. But it was innocent. Typical childhood stuff. There was peer pressure, but it never would have occurred to most of us to get a gun and start shooting teachers and classmates.  

My heart goes out to schoolchildren of all ages and to their parents who try to calm their fears. It’s a whole different world than when we grew up. I wish I could say it was better. 

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These 20 news stories, from the past 21 years, had an impact felt around the state. Here are the stories that captured our attention are listed in no particular order.

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