KOKOMO, Ind. (WTTV/CBS News) – The message behind a school desk surrounded by 4,000 shell casings and crime scene tape is carved out clearly: Enough.
In addition to the carved word, the names of every school affected by a shooting since the Columbine Massacre in 1999 are written on the desk. The last school added to the list was Noblesville West Middle School.
Artist Mike Applegate recalls the day he called to check on a teacher at Noblesville West Middle School after he heard there was a shooting. Even more shocking to the Peru High School teacher, who is also an adjunct professor at Indiana University Kokomo, was the response from his students.
"Like, guys this is a shooting, they're shooting kids. They were like, huh, and that's when I was like I need to do something to stop the complacency of people saying oh it's just another school shooting,” Applegate said.
The adjunct professor then started researching to find all the school shootings since 1999.
“The first hour it was hard because you write them and you remember Columbine, you remember Sandy Hook, you remember all the big names. Then, you start writing some of those small names, like, oh my goodness this was in Kansas,” he said.
A book next to Applegate’s piece lists each school shooting and the number of deaths at each one.
The piece is on display at the Indiana University Kokomo through Sept. 7. It will then be given to a mother whose son was murdered at Sandy Hook.