Aleigha Warren ‘18: Violence spreads like wildfire. A small match that ignites into the darkness, but becoming a nightmare beneath the sun. The things that once belonged in the gloom began slowly burning their way into the daylight, leaving a trail of charred rocks and charcoaled grass.
And the ironic thing is, we’re allowing it to happen.
On February 14, a day of love, parents lost their child. A day of red became too surreal as an active shooter attacked the Florida high school. Seventeen people lost their lives. They lost their futures, their secrets, their dreams. All of them walking into that building without realizing their last breath, last smile and last laugh would occur in front of fellow students, friends and teachers. They took their steps into the building, but never took the chance to step out.
“Honestly, I don’t feel safe at school,” Taylor Lambrecht ‘18 said.
School’s are like sanctuaries, a safe environment where children are at the ability to learn. Our school doesn’t feel like a sanctuary. The doors are open to whomever may walk through them. Bystanders of the unknown receiving the ability to carelessly walk through the halls amongst us, as if we became one. The sad reality is, the Florida shooting had to happen before our doors became locked, before hall monitors erupted in the school. Students, innocent people died, bled before our school made a difference.
I do not feel safe here.
Teachers began guarding bathrooms more than they tried guarding outside doors.
“I don’t have trust in the hall monitors being able to stop anyone from coming in,” Steven Huck ‘20 states.
Everyday as I walk through the halls, two or three teachers stand outside the bathrooms guarding them as if they are the battlefield.
“I wish they would have more detailed drills and procedures,” Hayden Morgan ‘18 said. “I’ve noticed that nobody really takes drills seriously at our school. People don’t care. They don’t realize that real things can happen to us, and I know that we won’t be ready if they do.”
The doors from the parking lots are immediately locked once the first bell rings. Which helps prevent the idea of a complete stranger strolling into our school but, students walk around to the front, just giving the possibility of being taken at a higher advantage. We cannot rely on the type of security the elementary and middle schools posses, we simply cannot obtain it. A person sits in a chair in our office, though they obtain the possibility of seeing who enters our school, it still isn’t enough to prevent a wildfire. Our rule for keeping students safe during a shooting, or an internal threat, is to shove them into a corner of the classroom. There is no escape.
“Having kids huddle in one corner or against a wall isn’t a safe way to protect us,” Shelby Carpenter ‘19 said. “It makes it easier for the shooter to kill us. Instead, I wish that our school would teach us ways to fight back and protect ourselves. I also wish that they could provide professionals to go over what to do with us instead of expecting the teachers to know exactly what to do.”
After years of active shooters and innocent lives, our school finally decided to try. But even then, students don’t feel safe. Violence spreads like wildfire.