In 1998, a teacher was shot after a student opened fire following a dispute with a schoolmate at Armstrong High School in Richmond, VA.
At the time, Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent S. Dallas Dance was a senior at the school.
"You always expect school to be a safe environment ... it was scary," Dance said. "School is a sacred environment ... but you're not immune to this."
In a chilling twist of fate, Dance was thrust into the spotlight on the first day of the new school year—his first as superintendent—when a student allegedly opened fire at Perry Hall High School's cafeteria.
"As a leader, it's a totally different perspective," Dance said. "You have to make sure the students are OK; you have to make sure the lines of communication are open."
The superintendent added that he was impressed with the how the staff at Perry Hall High School, especially Principal George Roberts, handled the situation.
"They did a good job," he said "Now we're looking at the next stage of school."
Dance spoke with the parents of Daniel Borowy, the special needs student who was critically injured in the shooting, on Wednesday.
"They're doing pretty good," he said.
And though there is currently no immediate threat at Perry Hall, there are still heightened patrols at the school.
"We'll keep it there for as long as the school needs it ... until they feel safe," he said.