The Government is Failing Us: School Shootings Must End

The students of Claremont High School have always been afraid. They are afraid of responsibility, vulnerability, and commitment— all normal teenage worries that everyone experiences as they try to figure out who they are and what they want in life. However, it has not been until recently that students have been afraid of school. It has not been until recently that students’ biggest fears as they walk the halls of Claremont High School have not been tests or homework; instead, they are afraid that they will receive a bullet to the brain by the end of the school day. They are afraid that they will never see their family again. And this is unacceptable; students —- children —- should never have to fear for their lives in a school setting, in a place of education. Safety is the school’s concern; the students should only have to focus on studying.

Schools have always served as a safe haven for students, a secure environment in which their success depends solely on their hard work and in which they can grow while focusing on learning and nothing else. Our students represent the future of humanity, a new generation that will one day lead the world and help drive the human race forward. They must be the best and the brightest, but how can they be the best if they are preoccupied with worrying for their life? How can they grow to their full potential if their growth is clipped by constant fear and anxiety? No child should ever have to feel terrified to go to school, as thousands have felt across the nation as the frequency of school shootings has increased over the years. Since the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, there have been over 300 school shootings and over 330,000 students have experienced gun violence.

Although this is a nationwide plight, school shooting terror has hit especially close to Claremont recently. No students should have to feel as scared as Claremont High’s students did when they were informed of an active shooter threat on March 3, a threat that has grown increasingly common over the past school year. However, this time students were not aware of the threat until they were already at school and did not have the choice to leave.

The constant stress and uncertainty students have learned to live in is a horribly unhealthy environment and should not be tolerated. Schools, authority figures, and in particular the government itself all need to do better to support their students, their future.
Note: After this article was written, another school shooting occurred on March 27, 2023. Six people – including three elementary schoolers– were killed at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. This must end.