By Reeve Woodward
American schools need help, and they need it now.
In 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, an armed adult walked into the school, shot 20 preschoolers, 6 adults, and left only 1 injured survivor. He then took his own life.
This massacre enraged not only the citizens of the US, but the whole world.
Since then, there have been over 400 victims in over 200 school shootings. The most recent example, the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, one of more than a dozen shootings already in 2018.
I cannot possibly comprehend the distress the victims’ families must be going through, and I am aware of the justified demand American citizens have for stricter gun laws. Gun laws have been an urgent issue for years and yet Congress has always refused to address it.
Since 1791, the Second Amendment of the United States has allowed Americans “the right to bear arms.” But that doesn’t mean we are given an excuse to sit back and let this appalling cycle continue.
A change is needed. Badly. And this comes down to school security.
In a recent experiment broadcasted by CNN, a 13 year old was restricted from buying cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets, but then had no problem when buying a firearm at a gun show. It is simply just too easy for someone to buy a gun and break into a school.
Out of the top 10 worldwide deadliest school shootings, the US was involved in 5 of them. And yet, the same attacks repeat themselves.
In a recent viral Facebook post, a conversation between a mother and 10 year old son was revealed. They were talking about what happens in the lockdown drill. The mother found out that the son volunteered to push a table up against the door because “If it came down to it I would rather be the one that died protecting my friends then have an entire class die and I be the only one that lived.”
How have we allowed these thoughts to go through a student’s head?
Schools can no longer be open gates to criminals with easy access to guns.
In my time overseas, I have visited various international schools, and most have not had the horrifying experience of an attacks. The difference between these schools and the American ones? Security. Barbed wire fences, ID code gates, guards patrolling, boom barriers for cars, and overall top notch security. Any shooter would be stopped well before getting anywhere near the students.
Obviously, this is much easier said than done- it is very expensive. I’m not calling for Fort Knox security at each school but just an overall increase in security. International schools have much greater funding from admission than local free public schools in the USA. But it is the USA we are dealing with, leading GDP in the world by over 7 trillion dollars with a whopping total of 18 trillion dollars. If the USA spent 2% of their gdp on education this would turn out to be 390 billion dollars, compared to the current measly 70 billion. Besides the fact that the government has the funds, one can’t simply put a price on lives, lives of innocent children.
It is time to make the cure for this evil death causing disease.
A 690 billion dollar increase. For safety.
And not just that but for the children that will carry the future.
Children that can go to a safe place to learn and build a full and pure life.
- Agency, Central Intelligence. “The World Factbook: UNITED STATES.” Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 14 Mar. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018.
- Buck, Kate. “Boy, 10, Tells Mum He Would Give His Life to Protect His Class in a Shooting.” Metro. WordPress, 18 Feb. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018.
- Haney, Stephanie. “Shocking Video Shows a 13-year-old Being Refused Cigarettes, Scratch-off Lottery Tickets, Beer and Porn… but Easily Buying a Gun.” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 23 Feb. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018.
- Patel, Jugal K. “After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Feb. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018.