School shootings are a very sensitive topic in America and a rising problem. There are many long term effects on both students and adults. Today we will be discussing these effects as well as possible solutions or prevention methods to keep our school systems safer.
School shootings can seem like a bad movie but the sad fact is, it can happen to anyone. As you can see the number of fatalities per year has gone up by quite a bit since 1970. These deaths have caused quite a bit of grief for students and families creating psychological issues like ptsd, depression, anxiety, and somatic symptomatology (After School Shootings…). Imagine having any or all of these illnesses and still having to continue to go to school everyday. It is important that schools create an environment of safety afterwards where students can safely talk and be heard individually (Castelloe). Schools could also create a grief space for parents of a student victim. This creates a feeling of capability much like holding a cloth to a wound but with going to school/dealing with grief (Castelloe). It is also much more personal than the usual generalized help given.
Attacks on schools can never be fully prevented but there are some ways to limit them. First we can attempt to stop the thoughts of school shootings;
On average, 71% of school shooters reported to being bullied and therefore wanting “revenge” (Swaak). Schools may already have bullying prevention systems in schools but many students aren't comfortable enough with any staff to report most bullying. This means teachers and administrators must look for signs of bullying and establish some trust with the students. Students must also learn to be nice or help out a person either while or after being bullied.
Another way to prevent school violence is to conduct mental health scans. There are still people who attack schools because that's how their minds work. There isn't much we can do to prevent thoughts like that but if that mindset is detected it would be easier to watch that particular student more carefully. This could also help identify students who could require medical or professional assistance for illnesses like depression, anxiety, etc.
Lastly if we aren't able to prevent the mental side, then we can try to prevent the weapons being let in the school. Firstly we can make sure students understand the consequences of bringing a weapon to school. Then we need good communication between students and staff, so that if someone were to find someone in possession of a weapon, it could be resolved quickly. Metal detectors seem like a sure-fire way to prevent weapons from entering the school but students tend to enter school in large groups meaning this would slow down entry. Another way schools can monitor students a bit better is by “installing smart cameras with artificial intelligence software as one of many ways to help monitor and supervise students.” (King).
With the combination of these tactics, we can make schools a safer place.
Lopez, German. “2018 Was by Far the Worst Year on Record for Gun Violence in Schools.” Vox, Vox, 10 Dec. 2018, www.vox.com/2018/12/10/18134232/gun-violence-schools-mass-shootings.
After School Shootings…
Lancu, Ariella, et al. “After School Shootings, Children And Communities Struggle To Heal: Health Affairs Blog.” Health Affairs, 19 July 2019, www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20190717.855810/full/.
Castelloe, Molly. “What a School Can Do after a Shooting.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 10 Jan. 2016, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-me-in-we/201601/what-school-can-do-after-shooting.
Swaak 2/25/18, Taylor, et al. “Talking about Bullying in the Wake of School Shootings Can Be Dangerous, Experts Say.” Newsweek, 25 Feb. 2018, 8:30, www.newsweek.com/bullying-role-school-shootings-818753#:~:text=About%2071%20percent%20of%20school%20shooters%20felt%20%22persecuted,,or%20knives%20to%20school%20as%20their%20non-bullied%20peers.
King, Michael. “Modern Methods to Help Prevent Guns from Entering Schools.” 11Alive.Com, 20 Aug. 2019, www.11alive.com/article/news/education/modern-methods-to-help-prevent-guns-from-entering-schools/85-ef8ae73d-50c9-4f4a-8900-bd422337bc6a.