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Tacoma school, site of 2007 shooting, reflects on national walkout day

A student was shot and killed in the hallway of Foss High School 11 years ago. The school made some changes for security since then, but some wonder if that's enough.

Tuesday's National Walkout Day protest had special meaning for Foss High School students in Tacoma. A student was shot and killed in the hallway of their school 11 years ago.

"My cousin went here during that time and it was scary. My family was scared. Everyone was scared," said 17-year-old Issabella Pena.

On the first day back from holiday break in 2007, a troubled Foss student brought a gun to school and shot and killed 17-year-old Samnang Kok at his locker in the hallway.

A jury convicted the shooter, sentencing him to 23 years in prison.

Since then, the district implemented some improvements to security, including assigning a Tacoma police officer to each high school.

According to Dan Voelpel, spokesperson for Tacoma Public Schools, the entrance to Foss was rebuilt so all visitors would have to enter through the main office.

But Pena said after seeing what happened at the high school in Florida, she knows those changes aren't enough.

"You would think people would learn from these things. You would think [they would] do better for their kids," she said. "Ten years and this is still a problem."

"Our lives are on the line right now, and we should be doing something about it," said student Megan VanDyke.

After a passionate 17 minute protest, one minute for each of the Florida students killed, the hundreds of Foss High School students headed back inside, hoping they don't have to wait for ten more years to see effective change.

"I can't see a reason why guns are more important than my safety," said Pena.