What’s to be done about the violence?

Musayeroh Bah, Editor-in-chief

    On Thursday, December 9th, nearly 50% of the student body was absent at Curtis High School. On that morning, metal detectors were also present in the school, and any student coming in had to go through them in order to get to class. 

    This all happened after screenshots of a Snapchat story spread around social media, with the author of the post stating that they were planning to come into school with a pistol, intent on harming others. After the recent shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, and an incident outside of Susan E Wagner where a firearm was pulled during a fight, it’s understandable why students would be so on edge about coming to school after a threat like that. While, of course, these types of posts are usually seen as people looking for attention or notoriety, it ignores the very real idea that we, as high schoolers, no longer feel that school is a 100% safe place. Time and time again in this country, students go to school to get an education, not knowing that it might be their last day. Or if an  all-out brawl could interrupt their education. It’s also frustrating to many that the statistics haven’t changed. According to CNN, the US has had “since 2009, at least 288 school shootings…57 times as many shootings as the other G6 countries combined.” And it’s not like safety measures haven’t changed since 2009, metal detectors in our schools have become the norm,  but that hasn’t stopped the violence or the fights that occur on a regular basis. So what’s to be done? Should we have metal detectors everyday instead of randomly? Should security efforts be ramped up? Do we need more school resource officers? 

    Some might also say that social media plays a large role in the recent uptick in violence. As we saw on Thursday, mass panic can be caused with a simple Snapchat story. Videos of fights in Curtis and other schools on the island regularly go viral on social media. Is it possible that these videos actually make fights more prevalent, and even more  brutal? AIf students feel that if they’re being recorded, are they less likely to back down? 

    But the biggest question of all is: how can students still feel safe going to school if the same story keeps coming out, over and over again? A student or someone else can get a gun, bring it into a school, and unleash harm on so many. From Columbine, to Sandy Hook, to now Oxford High, it doesn’t seem like the scenario has changed from decades ago despite the rise of school shooting drills and security measures. 

    In the end though, last week made it clear that an active shooter situation isn’t such an outlandish idea in our schools anymore. Sure, that student could have been bluffing, but many would rather be safe than sorry in a situation such as the one we saw last week. And for many officials, that sliver of doubt in students and teachers’ minds should be a terrifying idea to reckon with.