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2018 School Shootings, America’s Reality
June 21, 2018
When 2018 dawned on us, America as a nation, hoped that a fresh start was on the horizon. A new year meant a new opportunity to improve our school system, improve gun policies, educate the ill-informed, and increase the likelihood of our kids making it through each school day unharmed.
Unfortunately, we have not capitalized on that opportunity and the results are more than evident, here in the United States. While other country’s battle their own contentions it appears as though the school shooting epidemic has not spanned across oceans. Even in the midst of radical regimes and overwhelming populations, it seems that our fellow continents make it through each school year intact, while the U.S. repeatedly reports breaking news stories regarding school shootings and injured children.
Almost unbelievably, since the beginning of 2018, we have endured over 20 school shootings resulting in over 72 injuries. An alarming number that makes even the most optimistic fearful for our future generations.
These shootings have been scattered around the country, with the majority of them taking place in southern states. The shootings with the highest number of injuries: Parkland, Benton, and Sante Fe were clearly well calculated.
In the case of the Parkland shooting, the deadliest this year, the attacker was a previous student who had been expelled over disciplinary issues earlier that year. In Benton, an active student was the attacker and now faces charges on 2 counts of murder. While in Santa Fe, the student intentionally “killed the people he didn’t like, and spared the ones that he did.”
Most schools, 9 out of 10 actually, run drills with students and teachers for mass shootings and some states are looking to pass legislature to run the drills multiple times a year. The problem is, drills are JUST that a drill and the true effectiveness of such procedures are hard to gauge when the actual event is unpredictable and smothered in emotions. The reality is having a plan is necessary but you don’t know that a drill is going to work. After all of this practice, the despondent element in this catch 22 is that more than likely the perpetrator is participating in drills and learning how to navigate their plans around the precautions set in place by officials.
Some believe this was part of the problem, in Parkland. The school routinely held active shooter drills, but the student was familiar with the entire student and teacher protocol, allowing him to carry out his plan almost seamlessly. Four other shootings occurred in a similar format to Parkland, where the shooter pulled the fire alarm, essentially allowing him to bring anyone he wanted into the line of fire quite easily.
In the case of Santa Fe’s shooting, the school completed active shooter drills, in addition to armed police they employed on campus. Yet sadly, 10 people still died that day. The shooter hid the gun under his trench coat, which initially didn’t cause concern because that particular jacket was routinely worn to school.
There are only so many precautions you can take to prevent against these horrific dubious acts. Yet, students and faculty need to be as prepared as possible for any emergency on any given day. Humanity Impact’s bulletproof backpack is simply one more smart attempt to get your child home from school at the end of the day.