Safety in Schools at the Forefront of National Discussion

Jenny Brotherton, Staff Writer

Safety in schools has always been a topic of concern in America, but with the recent events such as the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the discussion has become even more tense.

The majority of staff, students, and family members have begun to progressively fear for their safety in their learning environments.

The escalated stress to make schools safer has sparked motivation for people to advocate action with preventative measures such as gun control. As of Wednesday, lawmakers in Florida passed a bill on gun control, although the National Rifle Association has been arguing against limitations.

According to The New York Times, “The legislation, which passed the State Senate on Monday and now heads to the governor, would raise the minimum age to purchase any firearm to 21 from 18; impose a three-day waiting period on gun purchases; fund school police officers and mental health counselors; and allow local school districts and sheriffs to arm certain school personnel. It would also ban so-called bump stocks, which make guns fire faster, and give law enforcement more power to commit people deemed a threat.”

As stated on the Safe Supportive Learning website, “School safety is defined as schools and school-related activities where students are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and substance use.” However with the rise of violence and brutality lots of schools are not necessarily viewed as a safe place. According to CNBC, there have already been 17 school shootings in the U.S. in 2018.

In this disarray, school administrators are trying to provide a sense of security. The CDC, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, says, “While our nation’s schools are expected to be, and usually are, safe havens for learning, unintentional injuries and even violence can occur, disrupting the educational process and negatively affecting the school and surrounding community.”

These traumatic events, and the threat of them, have an impact on our communities and societies as whole, not just students and teachers.

The National School Board Association states, “The primary responsibility of every school district is to ensure a safe and secure environment for students.” Hopefully with the amount of attention these issues have been receiving, more action will be taken to prevent them.