Tiger Times

Look ahead to safety

It's time to take measures to increase sense of safety

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Illustration

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Photo by Victoria Van

Photo by Victoria Van

Illustration

Story by Tiger Times Staff

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Since 2013, there have been more than 300 school shootings in America. There have been at least 17 shootings in 2018 alone, averaging more than once a week. Students don’t think it will ever happen to them until it does. Under the shadow of this threat, schools must step up to the plate to make their students feel safe and educate them on how to react in the event of a school shooter. There is a problem, however, with the measures being introduced to increase our safety.

The fact that Texas High’s campus is predominantly outdoors increases the risk of an intruder. There are too many entrances and exits at which to install metal detectors and security, compounded by the fact that the crossing guards and police officers aren’t always in their kiosks or stations to safely monitor the flow in and out of the school.

While teachers do participate in some drills in the incident of a school shooter, kids are left clueless aside from knowing to sit away from the door and be quiet. Students need to know what to do, what not to do and where to go. If someone were to get stuck in the halls or separated from their teacher, they would automatically become more vulnerable in a shooting situation, but especially if they have no knowledge of how to react.

Mental health is closely tied to school shootings. Some argue that it is the source of shooting, and recognizing those students who are unstable could avoid the incident early on. Some schools require teachers to participate in mental health workshops where teachers learn how to identify signs and symptoms of mental health issues. By implementing these workshops, we could be addressing the problem at its source.

However, after investigation of the Florida shooting, it was discovered that many students and teachers had reported Nikolas Cruz for troubling behavior. He was investigated a year before the shooting by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Additionally, the FBI received a tip that he intended to kill people at school. In this way, the system failed to protect citizens.

No protocol can stop the deranged from waltzing into schools, guns blazing. School is a garden to cultivate tomorrow’s youth. School should not be a prison. While we do surrender some of our rights at school, we should not have to surrender whatever sense of safety we have, nor should we be stripped of our privacy.”

— Tiger Times Staff

Schools don’t act until it happens, as seen with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida after 17 were killed and 14 injured. Why act after it happened and not before?

No protocol can stop the deranged from waltzing into schools, guns blazing. School is a garden to cultivate tomorrow’s youth. School should not be a prison. While we do surrender some of our rights at school, we should not have to surrender whatever sense of safety we have, nor should we be stripped of our privacy. In Parkland, students are now being required to wear clear backpacks. This happened before after Columbine when mesh backpacks became popular, but they quickly went out of fashion after the safety fervor died down. It seems as if the Fourth Amendment that protects right to privacy is being infringed upon, while the Second is unnegotiable, which is not under the school’s authority.

While active shooter drills give us a sense of what to do, our mental clarity is compromised by panic. There will most likely be mayhem when the lights turn off.

Only in the aftermath of tragedy are we forced to consider what we have done wrong and begin to take additional preventative measures. Whatever side of the gun control issue a person supports, there should be no argument that students should be safe at school. The responsibility falls to both students and faculty.

Students should report any suspicious behavior immediately to administrators, and law enforcement officials should take those reports seriously.

Our administration should continually evaluate safety procedures and make sure that they are communicated effectively to students and staff. There should be no ambiguity in our knowledge of escape.
It’s not just the teenage “spirit.” It’s not rebellion. At the end of day, it’s self-preservation.

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