Schools Take Action After Connecticut Shooting

Autumn R.
Staff Writer

On December 14th, 2012, the United States was silent just for a moment. In realization of the severity of the Sandy Hook shooting, reality hit, and tears flowed. Immediately, the nation sent love and prayers to the state of Connecticut, to the county of Newtown, and specifically to Sandy Hook Elementary School. On this day in December, twenty-six lives were lost; twenty were kids age six and under, and the other six were faculty of Sandy Hook Elementary School. A man by the name of Adam Lanza decided to take all of these lives, including his own, juCNSHOOTING3_ARst with a pull of a trigger. A gun in the hands of a person with an ill mind can not only be dangerous, but deadly. Following this tragedy, the nation has debated over the differing opinions on gun control, but one opinion that the nation has in common is that they want to be able to know that their kids are safe at school. The shooting at Sandy Hook was a tragedy, yes, but it has opened the eyes of the safety plans of schools and has brought about changes in schools’ safety systems across the nation.

Some schools have made simple adjustments such as being stricter with the rule of visitors checking in the front office before heading to a classroom. Woodstock High School has done this routine every day, even before the Sandy Hook tragedy: all visitors have to check in at the front office, show their I.D., and have their picture taken. Assistant Principal Mr. Scott Krug discusses components of the improved safety plan at WHS, saying, “We have adjusted adult supervision in the hallways and in the lunchroom, people have been assigned to watch the cameras, and all doors are locked now from the outside except the main doors into the school.” For many schools such as those in Dixie County in Connecticut, all doors were kept unlocked for fire safety purposes, but after the shooting, doors are kept locked at all times.

While safety of children is a primary goal, many wonder how much can be done to prevent tragedies like this from occurring. A Connecticut sheriff by the name of Mark Doyle states that there is only so much a school can do to prevent a killer. Junior Alexa Roberson comments, “I think that what Doyle is saying is true. If a killer or intruder really wants to get in and has thought of a plan, he will do anything to make his mission a success, whether or not you think you have the best safety plan.” Many believe it is difficult to prepare every little detail for a dangerous scenario because not all situations can be anticipated perfectly, but some disagree.

Some schools across the nation have been making more severe changes than just a few tweaks here and there. Schools have been getting their local sheriff’s department involved in helping the faculty set up escape routes and different defense plans if they were ever to be put in a dangerous situation. KeepingCNSHOOTING-AR doors locked, setting up barricades with desks, turning off lights to look like no one is in the room, and telling the children to be as quiet as possible are a few components of the plans. Police all agree that the best form of protection is to calm kids down and tell them not to cry or scream because they do not want to attract the attention of the intruder. Senior Marissa Jackson states, “I think it is a really good thing that not just high schools and middle schools, but also elementary schools are taking more precautions. It shouldn’t have to be this way, but better safe than sorry.”

Schools and parents are getting involved in new safety plans and precautions, as is the United States government. After President Obama’s heartfelt speech following the shooting, he left the nation with high hopes of better ways to prevent school shootings. On January 15th, Obama announced that on the 16th, concrete plans for gun control and new solutions for schools would be announced. President Obama and Vice President Biden will be talking about this issue together. There are supposedly 19 points to Biden’s plan, which Congress does not have the authority to reject. Junior Caroline Lawton comments,” I think it is a good thing that the government is finally getting involved but sad that it took 26 lives for them to finally open their eyes.” Hopefully the nation will like what Obama and Biden have to say.

Twenty-six beautiful lives were lost on December 14th, 2012, in the second deadliest school shooting recorded in the United States, and the first elementary school shooting to have occurred. The United States citizens can all agree that the safety of the children is important to all. Some say that absolutely outside danger can be prevented; some say that a few tweaks can be made to help to prevent it, but there is only so much that schools can do to prepare for such a drastic situation.  Whether it be parents getting involved, school systems, or the United States government, the wake-up call at Sandy Hook elementary was a tragic event that is helping better protect the lives of current students.



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