How Are Schools Responding to Gun Violence?

Following the heartbreaking shooting incident in Ulvade, Texas, CBS News conducted a poll among parents about gun violence in schools. According to the poll, 35% of parents were very concerned about gun violence at their children’s school, 37% were somewhat concerned, and 28% were not very concerned or not at all concerned. As previously stated, parents of school-age children are concerned about gun violence at school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 43 school shootings with fatalities and 50 shootings with injuries occurred in 2020-2021, for a total of 93 school shootings – a 70 percent increase since 2000. The year 2020-21 saw by far the most shootings in elementary schools, including middle and junior high schools.

2020-21 has by far the most shooting cases with injuries only and deaths, with a total of 93 cases. Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security, K–12 School Shooting Database, retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://www.chds.us/ssdb/. See Digest of Education Statistics 2021, table 228.12. Photo: National Center for Education Statistics
From 2020 to 2021, there are 145 shootings in public, private, elementary, and secondary schools. Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security, K–12 School Shooting Database, retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://www.chds.us/ssdb/. See Digest of Education Statistics 2021, table 228.12. Photo: National Center for Education Statistics

Following several incidents involving students bringing guns to school and sacrificing innocent students, such as the horrific mass shooting at Uvalde, some changes have been implemented.

According to PGPD News, a 17-year-old Gwynn Park High School student was charged and arrested for bringing a loaded gun to school. Not only did the student bring the gun, but he also had marijuana in his bookbag – the student was eventually charged as an adult and sentenced harshly.

“These things bring up that, every day, we walk into our schools sadly with the fear we may not go home,” the president of Prince George’s Educators Association, Donna Christy said, “what we are doing to have healthier people that are not even thinking that they want to bring a gun to schools.” As for prevention solutions, Donna Christy added.

Another example would be Juanita High School, where a student was arrested after making direct threats to a classmate. The threat was posted on Sunday, and despite no incident, the school was closed on Monday to prevent future accidents. According to Kings 5, the suspect is now barred from entering any LWSD-owned properties, and he will not have access to any firearms.

Now that bringing a gun to school is so common that many students, parents, and school administrators are afraid of being harmed, Mike DeWine, the Republican Governor of Ohio, signed a bill into law allowing education staff members in Ohio to carry guns at school. He stated that the one-day training was complete. However, because the law requires 24 hours of training and up to 8 hours of annual training, it is estimated that one-day training will not suffice.

However, Columbus, Ohio denied allowing school staff members to be armed at school – he will not change the policy prohibiting staff members from bringing weapons to school.

“Columbus City Schools strives to provide a safe environment where everyone can learn, work, and live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence. What we do in our school communities is build relationships,” Jennifer Adair, the president of Columbus Board of Education continued, “And that’s what matters most when it comes to school safety – the trusting and supportive relationships among our teachers, staff, students, families and caregivers.

While the debate over whether school administrators should be armed at school continued, Joe Burrow, the Bengals quarterback, made a statement during the Elementary School Massacre that has since been resurfaced. – “With everything that’ going on, if you’re not going to outlaw everything, you’ve gotta at least make it harder to get those crazy guns that everybody’s using – You gotta be able to go through a rigorous process to buy something like that I think.” Burrow said, leaving it up to politicians to figure out a solution.

After experiencing mass shootings and the shooting of an innocent 17-year-old student at John Bartram High School, Philadelphia officials have announced that 1.8 million dollars will be spent to install security cameras near city high schools and middle schools to prevent crime. The security camera is aimed at students in order to prevent shootings of teenagers near their schools, which were requested by neighbors, so they had to act.

“We need every child to be safe as they go to school and come home later in the day – these cameras are a good start, and they’ll lend eyes to law enforcement officials working very hard to keep our kids safe from harm.” Said Clark. This is consistent with the goal of installing a camera and the expected outcome – creating a culture of being watched if you’re doing something.

Schools and the government are still unsure of what should be prioritized; however, the fact that they are changing their gun control policy would be evidence of progress toward gun control – preventing gun violence.

 

Read more: School Shooting, Are Schools Really Safe?