We do not feel safe on campus

The way that most schools go about practicing safety is an ineffective and outdated response to an ongoing issue. Lawmakers should take greater action in the aftermath of the shooting in Michigan.

A+demonstration+by+students+after+the+Parkland+shooting+shocked+people+across+the+nation.+

CREDIT: FABRICE FLORIN | WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

A demonstration by students after the Parkland shooting shocked people across the nation.

Utilizing desks to protect ourselves. Seconds turn into minutes. Waiting feels like an eternity. 

This is not an earthquake drill. This is not a fire drill. This is not an emergency preparedness drill for an unpreventable natural disaster. This is a lockdown drill, or now commonly referred to as an active shooter drill. 

The most recent school shooting in Michigan brought attention, yet again, to the problems with gun laws, or the lack thereof. It becomes a hot topic; discussed and debated everywhere from social media to congress, only for nothing to change and the cycle just continues.

Students and faculty alike are helpless in an active shooter situation. Our only protective measure? A technique from the early 2000s designed and implemented into a few schools as a result of the 1999 Columbine shootings. 

22 years after active shooter drills made its way into American schools, 304 people have died and almost 230 school shootings have occured… 57 times as many school shootings as Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined. 

Yet 40 states now have introduced mandatory lockdown drills. As of 2015, nearly 95 percent of schools nationwide conduct practice lockdown drills and there is still no federal law that mandates lockdown drills be conducted. 

For 22 years things have not changed from a safety perspective, but shooters have evolved. Shooters are always trying to increase the amount of devastation they cause and are obsessed with the idea of killing as many people as possible. 

Parkland, Columbine, Sandy Hook. There are dozens of schools that have been attacked in recent years. (CREDIT: FABRICE FLORIN | WIKIPEDIA COMMONS)

The Columbine shooting saw students in trench coats walk into school and fire their weapons at everyone they saw. 

In the Sandy Hook shooting, the shooter would knock on doors and unsuspecting teachers would open them only to be met with a gun on the other side.

 In the Stoneman Douglas shooting, the shooter pulled the fire alarm, students left their classrooms and followed proper procedure only to get shot. 

In the most recent Michigan shooting, the shooter pretended to be a police officer in order to convince teachers that it was safe to come out of their classrooms. 

Despite common belief that the shooters are the ones to blame for the casualties, lawmakers are really the ones with blood on their hands. 

These drills, frankly, are ineffective and outdated. We are forced to a game of hide-and-seek between us and the shooter. We are told to stay quiet, barricade doors, turn off all the lights and hide in the back of the classroom with the window shutters closed. In the end, someone always ends up dead, or at the very least severely injured. 

Despite knowing the statistics, hearing the stories and listening to demands for more security measures to protect students, school administrators, law enforcement, local officials and lawmakers do the equivalent of a doctor slapping a band-aid on a gunshot wound; an ineffective quick fix solution that slows the bleeding but doesn’t stop it. 

They cite how these drills are effective at reducing the amount of casualties, but ignore the fact that schools should not be a place where students fear for their lives.