A New Epidemic


Since the 1990s, school shootings have become an epidemic that causes worry and feelings of unsafety from students, staff and parents.

In the society we live in today, we have been trained for violence in schools. Students as young as kindergarten are being taught how to hide from an attacker as a part of their curriculum. Since Columbine, there have been over 300 school shootings around the country. There are so many different reasons why shootings have taken place, but a few of them are, they [attackers] are made fun of or bullied, they feel like there is a reason to get back at people who have hurt them, they do not value their lives, they have endured some type of abuse, and more. While these are very traumatizing to students and people in general, having some type of outlet may help them. Robin Antonucci, a High school English teacher says “My classroom is a safe place for most students.  Most of my students feel comfortable confiding in me and then I can direct them to the adults in the building who can help. I make myself available for all students during my free periods.” If more students felt that they had someone to reach out to there is less possibility of harm to themselves, and others. 

There are so many different opinions on the cause and effect of school shootings across America. Some people think we are doing just enough, some believe the opposite, and some have mixed feelings. Nick Sanford, Hall High Schools resource officers states, “We have devices on the doors where they have to scan their [outsiders] id’s and if they are flagged for any purpose it gets alerted. We do morning routine door checks. And then we have four security guards plus myself in the building at all times.” Most schools take the necessary precautions to protect the students and staff within the school. Sometimes, it is just not enough. As a country, the push to become better only increases. Safety precautions are increased, teachers become more available to students, and police and swat are always available for protection. 

Most recently, the country has been affected by a series of false alarms. There have been an unsettling array of false school violence threats. People are calling it “swatting”. Which refers to Swat teams that respond to active shooter incidents heavily armed. Tania Thomas, a Hall High School senior said “I don’t feel safe because I don’t think there is enough security when it comes to who enters the school. I also heard there have been fake calls about shootings and threats.” The problem with these calls is that they [swat team] have to respond as if it was a real threat because if one day it is actually real and they go in thinking it’s fake, they could put themselves and a lot of others in a lot of danger. So while we have the privilege of access to all of these resources, there is also a type of abuse that comes from it. This causes a distrust between law enforcement and civilians, because they need to trust and be trusted by everyone, but fake calls prevent that. 

The new epidemic is the array of school violence, and the lack of seriousness taken with it.