OPINION: Gun Violence in Schools

by COOPER TINSLEY


Gun violence in schools has been a recurring issue in the United States since 1840, but has skyrocketed since 1999 after the Columbine High School shooting where thirteen students and teachers lost their lives. Since then, “An average of ten school shootings per year [have happened] since Columbine, with a low of five in 2002 and a high of fifteen in 2014,” according to John Cox and Steven Rich of The Washington Post. As of May 25, 2018, 23 school shootings have occurred, an average of over 1 shooting a week. The most recent was eight miles, or fourteen minutes, away from Westfield High School.


There are many theories as to why people choose schools as a target. Mental health, revenge and video games are among the most popular. My question is, why are we arguing about why they happen when students are still at risk? Some may answer “Because if we figure it out, we can stop them before it happens.” But you can’t. You can't alter someone's mental state. All of that can be a second step--our first needs to be bringing more security into our schools. But how?


The Westfield Washington School System developed new ways to protect staff and students. One of the safety measures is the Safe Visitor App. The app (developed by police, secret service agents , FBI and other school security experts) gives our administration real time arrest alerts, facial recognition and accessibility to background checks.


Is this enough? Many people say no. Please take the survey below to express your own opinion on gun control in schools: https://goo.gl/forms/m2ToByrFkxMqMmMF3.


References

  • Ahmed, S., & Walker, C. (2018, May 25). There has been, on average, 1 school shooting every week this year. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html

  • Columbine High School Shootings Fast Facts. (2018, March 25). Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/us/columbine-high-school-shootings-fast-facts/index.html

  • Home. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.safevisitorsolutions.com/

  • The extraordinary number of kids who have endured school shootings since Columbine. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/us-school-shootings-history/?utm_term=.30b8eff713d1

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