Dear Future President:
One hundred and ninety-nine. That’s the number of school shootings there has been since 2013 in the United States, averaging out to one a week. That’s one hundred and eighty more than between the years 2000 and 2003. It seems like everyday there is a new story of someone who was killed or injured due to a school shooting. In fact 6 year old Jacob Hall was one of the most recent victims. He was outside for recess on October first when a 14 year old boy took his life. He was an innocent toddler who did nothing to deserve it yet here we are staring at the situation with sadness, compassion, disbelief, and anger. But we still aren’t doing anything about it. It’s not enough to simply find the shooter and convict him. It’s not enough to give the children a week off then send them back in fear. It’s not enough for all the children and teachers who have lost their lives or for the ones who will lose them in the future. We need to make real change.
The first step to change is to inform. Yes, I know all schools are required to practice lockdown drills but once again that’s not enough. We need to teach kids what to do in every situation not just how to duck and hide. They should be taught how to act in any possible scenario, no matter where they are or what they are doing they should know exactly how to respond.
We not only need to teach children these things but we also need to teach the teachers. They should know how to properly protect themselves and the children at all times. They should even be trained to take down a shooter if necessary. Luckily, there are some schools that do provide training like this but not all. They also all need to be aware of how to react no matter the situation just like the children.
Secondly, we need better security. Simply locking all the doors except one is not going to keep a shooter out. The only way to keep a shooter out is by locking every door and teaching kids not to let anyone into the school who is outside. By having every door locked and a security camera being monitored to let children in and out of school as they need could make a huge impact. Unfortunately to do this we need proper funding which isn’t always available.
By being more informative and improving security real change can made, but we need your help. With the help of the United States government, safety and security can be maintained in schools throughout the nation. We need you to help schools be able to afford the right equipment to keep them safe and we also need you to help create laws that will make a lasting impact. I believe that with the help of the United States government and yourself, the nation will see the safety of schools going back to the way they used to be. We can make sure that school shootings are never seen as a normality again.