Ally Boyle, a Jewish senior at Arapahoe High School, had just left school Friday afternoon, looking forward to the weekend, when the unthinkable happened.
Another Arapahoe senior, Karl Pierson, had entered the school building, armed. He shot and critically injured a student and Ally’s friend, Claire Davis.
Ally, whose family belongs to Congregation Emanuel, went to Israel this past summer on IST. She is the daughter of Kathy and Ed Boyle.
She tells the IJN about her experience last Friday, and her reaction since the tragedy:
“I was at the stop sign by Arapahoe when I heard the gunshots. I live pretty close to the school, so I went home, but then I went right back to Arapahoe with my mom.”
Ally says her mother “was certainly happy that I had been there with her. Up to a certain point we got to stand together, but we were separated. But she said at least she was able to see me; it would have been a whole different story if she wouldn’t have been able to.”
When she spoke with the IJN this week, Ally said she was still in shock that at shooting took place at her school. “I can’t speak for everyone obviously, but I know personally, it’s still taking a little while to set in, and there’s still that shock factor that it happened here at Arapahoe High School.”
After the shooting, the school was closed, and classes were cancelled until after winter break. “Going back to school on Jan. 7 will be interesting to say the least,” Ally said.
“We’re all a lot stronger as a community now than we were previously, so I think that’s a positive dynamic to have.”
Ally, who is a school friend of gunshot victim Claire Davis, calls her “a really, really lovely girl. We are all blessed to know her.”
Ally has been at nearly every vigil for Claire. However, “the Jewish person in me is very confused because they always say The L-rd’s Prayer. I really don’t relate to it, but I think faith is driving a lot of people through right now. I think when tragedy strikes, that’s when people get faith.
“Right after this happened, my Mom asked me if I wanted to go to Temple [Emanuel], and I did. We sat and talked with our Rabbi, Brian Immerman. He definitely helped me put things in perspective, from a Jewish point of view.”
After the news of the shooting broke, she and her family heard from loved ones and friends expressing their support. “People were contacting me from all over, even my friends in London and in Israel whom I met this summer.”
Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News