Students’ Reactions To School Safety Efforts Differ

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School shootings have been a major concern in America since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, 20 children and six adults. Schools in America are now trying to make more of an effort to protect students and prevent events like this from happening. But for some kids, these efforts are not enough.

Jaylynn Higgin, who attends Achievement First High School in Hartford, said, “I don’t think my school is prepared for [a school shooting]. They focus more on teaching students academics; they forget that we are humans too and we want to enjoy our lives and they don’t take the time to go over safety measures with the kids in case the teacher is not in the room when the incident happens.”

Students like Higgin are more concerned about what might happen in different situations if a school shooter is present in the school. She thinks schools need to do better in making their students feel safe at school by going over more detailed procedures in the instance of a school shooting to ensure students’ safety.

Britney Barton Photo

Shamar Rhoden

Since the Sandy Hook shooting, there has been a steady rise in the number of students who report bringing weapons to school, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2011, 5.7% of high school students in Alaska reported bringing a weapon to school. After the Sandy Hook incident, that number went up .4%, and in 2017, that number rose by 4.1%, bringing the number of students who reported taking a weapon to school to 10.2%.

Also, the number of Idaho students who reported bringing weapons to school went up 3.5% from 2011 to 2017, and South Dakota scholars bringing weapons to school went up 1.4% from 2011 to 2015, according to the CDC.

Other students believe that more weapons are not the answer. Rachel Lindsay from New Jersey believes that more weapons would lead to more “injuries…and not by a school shooter but by someone losing their cool.” Scholars like Lindsay believe that kids would abuse the power to have a gun in school and more incidents would happen.

Responding to students’ feeling unsettled by school shootings, some schools have increased the number of school shooting drills. But some feel the drills are taking the focus away from other issues in the schools.

Luis Mila, a Florida high school student, said, “Our generation is so jaded by shootings in general because they happened at such a high frequency…school staff isn’t worried about bullying or alcohol use, they are more concerned about whether or not they are going to be shot up or not.”

Students have become accustomed to school shootings today, which is becoming a problem in our society because kids should not have to worry about school shootings, they should be worried about their grades. Students should feel safe at school.

Shamar Rhoden is a student at Achievement First Hartford High School.

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