Recent gun violence leads to closed doors and opened minds


By: Emma Van Riper ’20

Gun violence threats have drawn attention to the flaws in the current security measures that are taken at school. The best way to prevent gun violence in school is to work out a process to handle anonymous tips and to launch an educational program to ensure that people understand that it’s okay to raise a concern about mental illness or a classmate that may be a threat to our safety.

We all feel obligated to let people into school when we are walking past someone banging on the side doors. Prior to this week, most of us would gladly open the doors to our fellow students without thinking twice about it. But, with all of the school shootings and threats recently, we all have a responsibility to keep the building secure.

Having students and visitors walk around to the front of the school would help faculty members monitor who’s being let into the building. Also, student ID’s could be used to prevent possible visitor threats from getting in the side doors. However, if the shooter were to be a student, it doesn’t matter if they go in the front door or the side door or if they have a student ID.

In the situation at our very own school, the only way we prevented an incident from happening was by a student speaking up about something suspicious they heard. Aside from debates on gun laws, we need to take action from a more local standpoint. Student and faculty awareness of threats are much closer to the ground than an FBI tip line, resulting in a possible way to prevent tragedies. Just like we all have a responsibility to keep the building secure, we all have a responsibility to speak up if we have a concern about our safety.

A local anonymous tip line just for our school district would allow students to inform faculty members about a potential risk or to simply alert about someone who needs help. If someone were to be called into the office for the tip line, the student would be understanding rather than angry because they know that it’s just part of the precaution. The school could maybe even bring kids in randomly to check on from the tip line so that the people stay anonymous.

They aren’t always in the news, but young people have been reported by various family members, classmates or school authorities with intentions of school attacks in at least 21 cases since 2001. If we stress to students enough that “if you see something, say something” then we pretty much have eyes and ears around the school at all times. When such a tragic event has the possibility of happening, we need to stick together and look out for each other in order to prevent it.

There is no perfect solution to gun violence which makes it such a difficult subject to handle, but we should be working together to keep our school safe as best we can.