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Features, Opinions

The U.S. must fix the school shooting epidemic

On February 14, a 19-year-old expelled student named Nikolas Cruz walked into Parkland, Fl.’s Stoneman Douglas High School and shot and killed 17 people and sent 14 people to the hospital.

This has become the deadliest school shooting massacres in U.S. history.

While it is the deadliest, this has not been the first time the country has experienced a major school shooting.  Dating all the way back to 1764 when ten children were killed in a schoolhouse, school shooting massacres have plagued the U.S. from every corner of the country.

With the increase in school shooting massacres comes the numbing of many people towards the situation.

“I was kind of just like there goes another school shooter,” said senior Pablo Maltez. “Like I knew they wouldn’t do anything to [Cruz since] after all, he is white.”

Many Americans have argued that there is a pattern in how mass shooters are treated differently and given the reasoning of mental health issues when they are white as opposed to when a black or brown person commits acts of violence.

Maltez’s comment also shows how mass school shootings have, in a way, become commonplace for students who, in recent years, have seen these occurrences happen more frequently, each time getting deadlier.

Although Parkdale has not had a mass shooting, other incidents, like the recent student stabbing. have occurred within close range school property. It concerns both students and parents that schools are becoming more and more associated with violence.

There has been a long list of suggestions that should be made to the school systems in the U.S., one of the most recent and controversial being to arm teachers with firearms.   Maltez believes that instead of arming teachers, there should be heavier security working in schools in order to prevent such tragedies from occurring.

“I️ personally believe we should have armed and properly trained security outsides of schools,” said Maltez, “that way we wouldn’t have these stabbings and shootings at school.”

Along with security, it is very important for both students and staff to understand the protocols of a lockdown.  With the four lockdowns that have occurred this school year, teachers have locked and shut doors, turned off the lights and had students step away from windows and doors, but most involved were clueless as to what was going on. Even though students are not permitted to leave the classroom, they are still clueless and vulnerable to an attack.

If schools offered a class, or even a week-long course, that educated students from a police officer or a figure of authority on the parameters and protocols of safety during an emergency situation, it would really help students understand the seriousness involved with the threat of gun violence and how it can be handled if it ever happens to them outside of or in school.

In addition to a school course, a popular but partisan idea is to create stricter gun laws so drills and lockdowns do not even need to be as emphasized.

“I️ think either we should just make a blanket gun ban or we should make guns as regulated as cars are where you need to pass several tests and need to bring I️t in for check-ups every few years,” said Maltez. “I️ don’t think we should arm teachers but at least hire bodyguards outside of the school to protect the school.”