Safety in school, a thing of the past

School shootings happens on average once a week in US, HHS is not prepared

Tragic school shootings around our country affect  our nation as a whole together

Photo by courtesy of New York Times

Tragic school shootings around our country affect our nation as a whole together

By Yunqi Deng, Reporter

The frequency of violence on school campuses, places where students should feel safe, has increased dramatically in the last decades, according to the CDC.

Disaster can hit school unpredictably at any moment, and school shootings happen, on average, once a week according to Everytown Gun Safety (EGS).

In the two years since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, there have been 94 school shootings, including fatal and nonfatal assaults, suicides and unintentional shootings according to EGS.

Since 2013, statistics show there have been 150 school shootings in the U.S. This number includes all incidents in which a gun was used on or near a school campus, ranging from kindergarten to college, according to EGS.

HHS had lockdowns in both 2011 and 2013, but both times – thankfully – nothing happened on campus. In the event of a lockdown, students are required to build two barricades inside the classroom: one at the door and another surrounding themselves.

If a gunman arrives on campus, building a barricade takes a class more than five minutes, depending on the class size and the students, according to the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. During this time, anything can happen, including the shooter coming into the classroom before the barricade is completed.

Of the students who missed school in the last 30 days nationally, 7.1 percent of them missed class because they did not feel safe at school, according to the Center for Public Education.

One reason why some students may not feel safe at school is teachers are only required to be certified and trained once in CPR and safety procedures such as first aid when they receive their credentials, according to the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing. These safety procedures need to be reviewed much more often, as some teachers have not reviewed them for more than 20 years.

And even though the Second Amendment ensures the right to bear arms, California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act prevents guns on school grounds.

Enacted in 1995, the Penal Code prohibits anyone from possessing or discharging a firearm in a school zone, including areas within 1,000 feet of public or private school grounds, according to Shouse Law Group.

Although this law is in place, there are no repercussions in schools that help to prevent gun-related tragedies from happening.

There need to be better school policies and procedures regarding the safety of students at HHS. If something happens now, the school will not be prepared for the tragedy.