As of November 19, the US had experienced 45 school shootings only 46 weeks into the year, according to CNN. As a country, can we truly sit around and hope that no one is shot this week while trying to learn?
Despite the growing attempts of ending gun violence and inciting gun control laws, the yearly number of school shootings continue to rise. This clearly illustrates the numbers as they continue to rise almost every week. Post Sandy Hook Shooting, Sandy Hook Promise posted this chilling video. In two and a half minutes, the video sends a strong message about the signs of
The psychological effects of this reality can take a toll on students, especially after a threat. Makenna Pebley, sophomore at Quakertown High School, states that she is extremely nervous to attend school after any sort of nearby threat. “My anxiety goes so high,” she says. “I don’t want to go back.”
Jason Magditch, a Quakertown High School house principal, reports that as a district we have faced less than five serious threats in the past 5 years. This number seems low, but many students remember our last serious bomb threat.
Colin Londino, Quakertown senior, recalls the incident. “There was a lot of confusion followed by panic. They did not inform us well enough at all, but there is probably more efficiency now. From what I remember, once word got out of what was happening, everyone was horrified.” He continues, “A lot of it would have been less concerning had we been better informed of the situation. More about this incident can be found here.
ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. ALICE drills were put in place to help students feel safer in the event of an emergency. Pebley, however, feels this is not enough. “It depends, when you think about it. I feel like people can just make tactics to go around the ALICE drill,” she states. “They can figure out, like, ‘Oh, these classes are on lockdown, but I’ll go find the ones evacuating.’ People can just go around it and find new ways.”
Officer Lee, QCHS’s school resource officer, is intent on the safety and comfort of students in the building. He and Mr. Burke helped start up the Student Safety Group, in which they meet with members of the student body to discuss problems in the building and how positive changes can be made.
Lee’s priority is the prevention of any such incident before anybody is in genuine danger. He says, “If something doesn’t sit right with you, whether you heard somebody say something or you find it on social media, report it. A student reporting it, even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal, can prevent crimes. If students are afraid, they can report in safe to say something. Students are our eyes and ears.”