Living in Fear: Being a Student in the Age of School Shootings



Grade-school students around the country live in constant fear of school shootings. I recently finished high school, and yet I feel no relief. My underclassman friends and my younger siblings, all only children, are still in danger. If you are against gun restrictions and reform, I urge you to read this with an open mind. Please, do not merely hear me, but truly listen.

On my first day of high school, teachers pointed out the exits in the classrooms. They pointed out the safest places. They told us that if a shooter entered the room, we should throw things at them and try our best to disorient them. Some told us to exit through windows and doors and simply run. Some teachers showed us what to throw. There were boxes of tennis balls in one teacher’s cabinets for distracting a potential shooter. As they would continue to do year after year, these teachers set aside time at the beginning of each term to go through the basics: the syllabus, the materials we would need, the protocol for natural disasters or fires, and now, what to do when there was an active shooter in the building.

That same year, a shooting threat was made on my school. I knew who had made the threat, and so did almost everyone else. When I went to the school police about it, he said they already knew about it and were keeping an eye on the student. Luckily, he did not end up carrying out his threats. He was still allowed to attend school with the rest of us, leaving many people scared and uncomfortable. This student will walk with the rest of my class and I on graduation.

My late sophomore year and full junior year, things slowed down, but only because of COVID. Since there was no school, school shootings weren’t an issue. But the second we returned to class in person, they once again became a primary concern.

I knew all the safest places in the school. If I found myself somewhere secluded and hard to get to, I’d add it to a list of places to go if I ever found myself in a situation where there was a shooter in the building. I knew how to get out through the auditorium and scene shop. I’ve talked to friends who have contemplated how they would climb out through the skylights.

Because of many people’s objections to trying to prevent school shootings with bans, restrictions, or even common sense gun legislation, teachers and students must learn how to survive them. Yet no matter how much we do, there will always be those that can’t and don’t survive.

8 responses to “Living in Fear: Being a Student in the Age of School Shootings”

  1. Priti Avatar

    I don’t know how to teach teachers and students to survive from gun shootings but it’s now happening often. Well shared 👌😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lblooom Avatar

      Exactly! Thank you for reading.

      Like

      1. Priti Avatar

        It’s pleasure of mine stay blessed 🤗🥰

        Liked by 1 person

  2. johnlmalone Avatar

    that’s terrible: students should feel safe in their work environment ; I hope the gun laws are made much stricter in the States as they are here in Oz —

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lblooom Avatar

      Agreed! Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TasView (Tone) Avatar

    The US laws haven’t kept up with the weapons now available. Fully automatic weapons aren’t designed for hunting, they are designed for killing people. The gun lobby logic is completely flawed, where does it stop? If your government has access to nuclear weapons, does that mean every American has the right to a nuclear weapon? Kids shouldn’t have to live in fear of their lives in a “free” country. The right to bare arms should mean you can roll up your sleeves, not open carry. Cheers from Australia – and an ex-gun owner 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lblooom Avatar

      EXACTLY! Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you so much for commenting

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TasView (Tone) Avatar

        I just read someone else’s post “happy memorial day” in the US. Happy? Really? I resisted the urge to type and let it slide.

        Liked by 1 person

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8 responses to “Living in Fear: Being a Student in the Age of School Shootings”

  1. The US laws haven’t kept up with the weapons now available. Fully automatic weapons aren’t designed for hunting, they are designed for killing people. The gun lobby logic is completely flawed, where does it stop? If your government has access to nuclear weapons, does that mean every American has the right to a nuclear weapon? Kids shouldn’t have to live in fear of their lives in a “free” country. The right to bare arms should mean you can roll up your sleeves, not open carry. Cheers from Australia – and an ex-gun owner 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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