Bridgewater College parents seek update on schools security a year after shooting

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 11:46 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) - On the one-year anniversary of a deadly shooting at Bridgewater College that took the lives of two Bridgewater College Police Officers a group of parents of BC students is voicing concerns about what they say is a lack of security improvements by the school since the shooting.

“The only thing you can really do to honor the heroes who died for our kids that day is to correct things so that they don’t happen again. I am really frustrated with the fact that that hasn’t happened and a lot of other people are as well,” said Jessica Bauer, a Bridgewater parent.

In emails to the President of the College Bauer and a group of 18 other BC parents cited their concerns about some of Bridgewater’s classroom doors not locking at all or having locks on the outside.

“So many of the classrooms were so easily accessible if he had gone in a building that day, one of the two right near where the shooting occurred, he’d have had easy access to all the students and teachers in those classrooms. My daughter, a year later, her mind is kind of blown that some classroom doors still don’t have locks on them,” said Bauer.

Another major concern of the parents is that alleged shooter Alexander Wyatt Campbell and been secretly living in the basement of a building on campus.

“It was very upsetting to me to find out that this person had been living on campus amongst our kids for God knows how long and second of all that there were no cameras in place that maybe would’ve caught him,” said Bauer.

Bauer said she hopes to see an increase in security cameras in buildings and around the campus.

“Simple common sense things that could be put in place would make the campus a lot safer. If those things had been in place, to begin with, he wouldn’t have been living there number one, and number two if he would’ve tried somebody would’ve known about it,” she said.

The family of fallen Bridgewater College Officer, John Painter, said they are also still hoping to see more security upgrades.

“They need to provide all vests, actual bulletproof vests, for all officers that work there. Every one of them needs to have a firearm, I mean how do you expect someone to protect that school if they don’t have a firearm? So they just need safety precautions,” said Jacob Painter, Officer Painter’s nephew.

Both the group of parents and the Painter family said they have not gotten information about security improvements from Bridgewater College.

Abbie Parkhurst, Bridgewater’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications issued the following statement to WHSV on Wednesday regarding the College’s security:

When considering and implementing any changes to our safety and security measures, we continue to use the guidance of the external experts we engaged in a detailed review of our security procedures and response to the events of last Feb. We take the safety of our campus community very seriously and always have, including prior to Feb. 1, 2022.