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Friday, September 30, 2022
Home Education Students Speak: Maryland high schoolers' POV on violence in school

Students Speak: Maryland high schoolers’ POV on violence in school

As parents are sending their kids back to school, not only must we worry about finding the right school supplies, but the right protection. Yes protection, school shootings have increased significantly in America since COVID. Although school should be fun, interesting, and informative it has proven to be dangerous in both the cities and rural parts of America. In these interviews we talk to students about threats made, how the school dealt with it, and what they should change to keep their students safe. As you read these interviews, think about your own answers and what we can do to change things. If you don’t have ideas, what about a kid, relative, or friend? What would you, or they change about the school’s reaction and protocol?

Have you ever experienced a school shooting or a threat?

VH, 16
I’ve experienced three or more school shooting threats and 1 bomb threat. There have been so many that some are forgotten and pushed out of my memories. I remember being petrified. Seeing the people panic and rush to leave fills you with so much fear.

LM, 16
I have experienced at least two school shooting threats, if not more. They filled me with overwhelming uncertainty.There was a lack of reassurance.

JK, 17
I have only ever been in 1 school shooting threat, and I panicked like many of my peers, but we came together to calm each other.

EP, 19
I have had three school shooting threats. I was scared for one, but the other two ended up being jokes.

KC, 16
I have experienced at least four school shooting threats and 2 bomb threats. I was petrified like anyone would be, the staff and other students only made it worse.

FK, 17
There was a threat on social media and many kids left. I was not super panicked cause my mother who was part of the staff was in the building.

Did the school have anything in place to protect you or prevent the threats from coming true?

VH, 16
No, the school had nothing in place. I didn’t feel any safer, especially as the staff acted as if there was no threat.

LM, 16
My school had a lockdown drill to prevent people getting in, but it also prevented them from getting out. They have police at my school at least two that alternate, but they don’t make me necessarily feel safer.

JK, 17
The school just told us to run if we can, or to hide.

KC, 16
My school has always had police presence, but they never made me feel safer. They seemed to come randomly as they wished.

How did the school and staff react, what would you have changed to improve the school’s protocol?

VH, 16
The school told me that everything was fine while all the students panicked and some teachers left. I think that I would change the way people get information in the situation.

LM, 16
The staff didn’t react, but the kids did, they called their parents in a panic. I would improve upon the situation by educating kids about these events, guns, and how law enforcement handles these situations.

EP, 19
The first time didn’t even make it to the schools radar because it was a social media post that had been deleted before they ever saw it. The third one was handled poorly by the staff. The staff spread so much misinformation about the threat that it made the students panic more, although a select few were able to calm some of the students.

KC, 16
I would have them tell us the truth as they know it. Two out of the four times they lied to us and said there was no threat even though we could see them on social media.

FK, 17
The staff downplayed the situation because nothing had been confirmed.

School shootings have increased significantly since COVID. How do you think COVID played a part in the increase? If you don’t think it affected the school shootings, explain why.

VH, 16
I think that it might be because of the mental health crisis. During COVID I could see many people’s mental health deteriorate due to being alone so long.

LM, 16
I think that mental health and paranoia may have been affected by COVID. People overtime being alone with their thoughts has created a lack of security, which results in the purchase of firearms.

EP, 19
COVID had a part in school shootings since many people lost a year or two of socialization and for someone who is mentally ill that kind of isolation can worsen their mental stability. Additionally social media took a rise during this time and there was a lot of media romanticizing shooters so it may have influenced this behavior.

What can we do as a community to prevent school shootings?

VH, 16
As a community we should protest gun rights, for guns are so easy to attain at any age. Either at home or in a store. Schools should be more inclusive and care more about their students mental health, not just seeing them as grades, numbers, and statistics

LM, 16
I say politicians should increase the bans and laws surrounding firearms. People should get a long mental health evaluation before they are allowed to own a gun or weapon.

JK, 17
We should work on stopping bullying, and help students get the resources they need, when it comes to mental health.

EP, 19
We should have more mental health access for children and lobby to enforce stricter gun laws. We should have counselors trained to give mental health guidance to students and actually train teachers to recognize a child in crisis.

KC, 16
We should fight for stricter gun laws and more availability to mental health care. Schools should teach students about guns and what may happen in the case of a school shooting.

FK, 17
Vote for people in congress who will make better gun laws.

What do you believe the reason for school shootings is?

VH, 16
I believe that one reason school shootings happen may be because of the easy accessibility to guns.

LM, 16
They may be caused by a lack of information and too much miseducation, and ignoring one’s mental health. I also think the trauma and place children grow up may affect them as well later in life.

JK, 17
I feel like they stem from stress, and bullying.

EP, 19
I think mental illness, loose gun laws, racism, and misogyny play a part. Most shooters are white males that come from difficult backgrounds and aren’t taught to handle their emotions due to toxic masculinity.

KC, 16
I believe that they start because of the lack of mental health care in school and young childhood.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. As you send your kids back to school, ask your school and your politicians questions on their protocols such as ‘how do you prevent these situations?’ Do your research and see how many threats your county has had and how does it compare to other counties. Research what others think we should do to prevent future violence in school. This is a draining topic that is uncomfortable but it cannot be ignored and should be an ongoing conversation in your household.

By Keegan Cardoza, 16 year old student

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