Are students not feeling safe at school?

Zsuzsanna Juhasz

More stories from Zsuzsanna Juhasz

The March for Our Lives movement protests on the street to gather support and sway politicians. People came together to rally in the National Mall, spreading their message about the need for gun control.

The March for Our Lives movement protests on the street to gather support and sway politicians. People came together to rally in the National Mall, spreading their message about the need for gun control.

On a warm, sunny day, students make their way to school, ready for their day to begin. The hot summer sun is beating down on them as they clamber up the steps and cut through the parking lot. It’s a regular Wednesday—nothing special. The day bores on, shuffling from class to class, completing assignments on Chromebooks and attempting to stay awake during the boring lectures.

But students soon realize that today isn’t an ordinary day—no, far from it. The horrific truth of what the day has quickly shifted to dissolves into a series of traumatic events and awful losses.

This is the unfortunate reality of school shootings; they’re an unpredictable occurrence that happens so often, it has been ‘normalized.’

Nothing about school shootings should be normal, but because of how common they are, people aren’t as shocked when it happens. It’s striking to hear about—but it’s not a surprise at this point.

Feeling safe at school is key to ensure that students can learn and grow as people—without the risk of getting hurt.

Collaborating with local law enforcement, early intervention programs, drills, safety videos and security personnel are all ways that MCPS is addressing the issue of safety for students and their well-being.

“Magruder was a terrifying experience because of how close to home it hit. This just shows that MCPS is not prepared for such an event,” junior Molly Scanlon said.

Magruder is a high school in the MCPS district. On Jan. 28, a student was shot in the bathroom; he was found at approximately 12:53 p.m. Backup police didn’t arrive until 1:30 p.m.

“When I read about this, I kept thinking: why did it take so long for the police to show up? Someone got shot…officers should arrive ASAP to take care of the situation,” junior Matti Harvey said.

This all adds up to the question that many students ask themselves when they arrive at school, unsure of what the day will hold: do I feel safe here?

“I don’t feel safe here. I’m not sure which one, but one of the weight room teachers keeps the doors open allowing anyone to enter the school at any moment. Also, the security guards tend to be more focused on catching kids skipping than people getting into school,” an anonymous source said.

This source is not the only one who feels this way.

I don’t feel as safe as I used to. I’m definitely more aware of my surroundings and am more worried about the possibility of the school being shot up.”

— sophomore Sully Reed

Changes and policies can be initiated. While this is concerning at a local level, there is still so much that must be done on the federal level. Congress has attempted to create legislation, but somewhere along the way it gets dismissed because not enough members want to sign such legislation.

“Lawmakers don’t want to address this issue because of the second amendment: the right to bear arms,” freshman Anna Shetsiruli said.

All of this is an endless loop; school shootings won’t stop until proper legislation is enacted that ensures the safety of students. Every child should have the right to feel safe when they go to school.

“I don’t know what Congress is waiting for. Another shooting? Has there not been enough?” Scanlon said.

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