The Measures Needed To Prevent School Shootings In America
On average, there has been one school shooting every week in 2018. There has been 23 school shootings where someone has been hurt or killed says CNN news. Part of the issue is who has their hands on these guns. We’re all tired of reading stories about these innocent young children dying in school shooting when all there trying to do is learn. Parents feel unsafe to send their kids to school and get a phone call that a school shooting has happened. Parents are then going to be afraid to send their kids to school because all the violence that is happening in these schools. To even have the thought that parents’ greatest fear is to send their kid to school and won’t be able to see them again hurts. Parents worry about their child being bullied but they are more concerned about school shootings as they increased over the years from 1999 through 2018. Some contend that there needs to be stronger gun violence laws like waiting periods and background checks. Most researchers agree that to prevent school shootings in America there have stronger gun violence laws, better safety in schools, and stronger talks with students.
How many children are going to have to die in school shootings for this to stop? I used to think school was a safe environment for learning. From Columbine High School in 1999, to Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 and now in 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Parkland mass shooting killed 17 students, wounded 14 and caused a “March for our Lives” for stronger gun violence laws. The March for Our Lives was a student-led demonstration in support of stronger gun violence prevention measures. This march took place in Washington, D.C. and students from all around the world went. Also in the month of March, following the massacre of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was the first “National School Walkout.” The National School Walkout was to honor the Florida shooting victims. This involved students walking out of class at schools across America holding signs. One photographer took a particularly gut-wrenching photograph of a sad white boy in a blue bubble jacket, a black adidas pants, a red beanie hat, with black glasses holding a sign that read “Am I next?” Another student Wesley Savage said, “I feel it’s important not only to get better protection in our schools, but I feel it’s important to remember the 17 students who lost their lives.” A story on CNN six days after the shooting reported a mushrooming of Internet memes mocking promises of 'thoughts and prayers.' The story attributed the barrage of ridicule partly to the fact that many pledges of prayer for the victims of the shooting had been made by prominent opponents of stricter gun-control laws.
We cannot allow one more person to be killed by gun violence. We cannot allow one more person to experience the pain of losing a loved one. “America is losing more than 32,000 to gun violence every year in the country”. These tragedies range from gun accidents and suicides to horrific mass shootings. Like on December 2012 massacre at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School, Adam Lanza went from a merely shy pre-teen to a mentally ill recluse obsessed with school shootings. He turn a gun on his mother and then storm his onetime grade school with a semiautomatic rifle, killing 20 first-graders and six adults and then killing himself after. They later found out that Lanza 'had significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others”.There are ways the law could prevent this from happening. One way is by starting to checking for any history of violent behavior it is stated “A review of 56 published studies confirmed that the mere sight of weapons increases aggression in both angry and non angry individuals”. Second, If they don’t have any history of violent behavior then check for any mental illnesses, researchers found that “those with a dangerous history of mental illness is a free pass to arm themselves”. Third, If they don’t have either of those historys then check for drug abuse it is said that “under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the mentally ill are more likely to turn violent”. Even though drugs and alcohol could be affected by normal people it is more affecting the mentally ill. Currently, about 40 percent of gun sales are conducted without any background check at all. Gun control advocates claim that we just need tough gun laws. The solution is to require background checks on every gun sale.
Violent video games are equally part of the problem to children and parents have to prevent their kids from video games/watching an R-rated movie at a younger age. It is stated that “Many Americans would never let their eight year old see an R-rated movie, but according to findings released in a January 2013 Harris Poll of 2,278 U.S. adults (ages 18+) interviewed online, some children may be playing video games beyond their maturity level”. Playing a video game beyond the maturity level is not good for a younger child’s brain. This could cause younger kids to become violent and think that it is right to act with a violent behavior. According to “Harris Brings Out Poll on Connection Between Video Games and Violent Behavior in Teens,” “However, nearly six in ten Americans agree that there is a link between playing violent video games and teenagers showing violent behavior (58 percent).” The percentage might be 58 percent but that is still a high percent of teens that are showing violent behaviors linked to playing violent video games. Salam and Stack maintain that, “Shortly after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump said that violent video games and movies may play a role in school shootings.” As I would like to think, President Trump is correct in the fact that when kids beginning playing/viewing brutal things at a young age may believe that it's right to do those things. All violent games shouldn't be prohibited from playing however younger children shouldn't play games like that. The solution to this would be parents teaching their kids that violents does not fix problems. As well as telling their kids that video games are only for playing and shouldn’t take action. In addition, parents shouldn’t let their 8 year old play a violent video game and to avoid that they should let their child play kid games.
Schools are concerned how are they going to make inside schools a safe environment for their students. First, this requires greater security, for example, greater security in primary hallways and main ways to the outside will prevent harmful people come inside the building. Second, there has to be a prepared school police officer consistently on school grounds simply incase a school shooter comes and the officer could get back up or utilize their weapon. Third, there needs to be armed teachers this way they could protect there students and it should be bolted up some place where just the teacher can get to it. Schools need to possibly consider including metal detectors. Adding metal detectors to schools would help find out if any student/parent is carrying dangerous items that they shouldn’t be carrying into a school. This may take some time towards the beginning of the day to check every single student however would schools rather have a protected environment or a unprotected environment. Schools should also practice for an emergency incase of a school shooting was to happen. Such as, more lockdown drills, reconstructed doorways to restrict to get into, and reviewed safety procedures with law enforcement. This will get the students ready for when there is actually a school shooter in action. Making schools a safe environment is the thing that principals need to experience with the goal that we don't lose young children in school shootings.
Not only does this involve better protection inside the school but a positive environment from the students so that a formal student doesn’t harm anyone. Similar to the Parkland shooting a former student shot and killed 17 fellow students. The solution should be to build a safer and supportive environment in schools. According to Katz, “Some schools may achieve greater safety benefits in hiring an additional school counselor or launching new programs to support students with behavioral needs, school leaders say,” Adding school counselors will help students communicate what is going on at home or in school. This way students can get whatever is on there mind out and talk to counselors if they are getting bullied by any students. Another way to help students would be launching new programs to support students with behavioral needs. This way students with behavioral needs could get as much help and attention as they need to not become a violent person. Teachers should also think about how they can help the students by talking to them after class if they know something isn’t right or even calming them down if they get into an angry situation. Katz states, “Training teachers to cool off student conflicts before they boil over into gunplay and showing students positive ways to resolve such conflicts work better than installing metal detectors in curbing school-based violence”. Schools should consider to prepare their teachers on the best way to control students and one method is to conversate with their students but what schools don't recognize is what goes on at home and students may feel as though school is their break from home. Showing positive ways to resolve students’ problems could be stepping away from the problem, controlling their anger, or talking to someone older. First, way is Stepping away from the problem would help because it wouldn’t be a bigger problem such as coming at other students. Second, way is to control their anger by either going to a special class, thinking before they speak, or do exercises that calm them down. Third, students should try and talk to someone older it might help them to get everything off their chest. Students will found out that talking to someone will make them feel relieved.
A safe environment for schools for their students should be preventing bullying. According to “Build a Safe Environment,” “Safety starts in the classroom. Students should also feel and be safe everywhere on campus — in the cafeteria, in the library, in the rest rooms, on the bus, and on the playground.” Schools should be a bully free zone and hurting students is only going to cause bigger problems. “Bullying In Schools” states, “bullying is a prevalent form of youth violence, particularly in school settings.”
This shows students should watch what they say to other students even if it means they are joking around. Students need a positive environment where they feel safe at and can not worry about losing their lives or being bullied on an everyday basis. Schools need to take action and make their school environment a positive place for students. Ways to do this is by telling teachers to have a look out for bullying and when they see bullying they should pull the student to the side to talk to them. According to “Build a Safe Environment,” “Classroom meetings provide a forum for students to talk about school-related issues beyond academics.” Schools will get more students feedback in these classroom meetings and this could fix problems the school is having that staff doesn’t know about. Student could get whatever is on their chest out and they can talk about other students good or bad without saying any names. “Build a Safe Environment” states, “Start the conversation. Focus on specific topics, such as bullying or respectful behaviors. Meetings can identify and address problems affecting the group as a whole.”
These classroom meetings could start conversations that focuses on what students have to say and could make them closer as a class and have trust in one another. School is a positive place to learn and a safe environment that no student should have to be afraid to be at school.
Most researchers agree that to avoid acts of mass violence in America there has to be more grounded firearm violence laws, better security in schools, and more stronger chats with students. School shootings are a horrible problem everyone would like to solve but America needs better grounded firearm violence laws so that bad guys don’t get there hands on guns. There also needs to be better school security so that schools have a safe environment. Most importantly, there needs to be stronger talks with the students so that school is a positive environment and no bullying is going on. School shootings are not right and we don’t need anymore young innocent kids losing their lives to a school shooter just because they have something wrong with them or has been going through stuff emotionally.