School safety concerns continue to rise across the US

Gun violence in schools continue to be a growing issue.

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Gun violence in schools continue to be a growing issue.

Grace Swisher, Staff Writer

Three months into 2023, the United States has already surpassed over one hundred mass shootings, and as of March 30, there have been 90 instances of gun-related violence on K-12 school campuses this year alone. 

“An estimated 3 million children in the US are exposed to shootings per year. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens. Witnessing shootings—whether in their schools, their communities or their homes–can have a devastating impact,” Everytown Research said. 

This national crisis of injuries and death caused by gun violence has not come to an end and certainly does not look like it will any time soon.

“In each of the last three years, there have been more than 600 mass shootings, almost two a day on average,” BBC News said. 

The nation advocates for the safety of students, but how many security additions can a school make until the problem is too big for districts control? Edmond Memorial High School (EMHS) recognizes this growing concern and has since made updates to help accommodate the safety of students and staff.

One way EMHS has improved safety measures through new locks on all doors. These contain a feature that allows the handle on the outside of the door to be secured at all times, whether or not the inside deadbolt is engaged. 

This addition means if a student unlocks the deadbolt from the inside and leaves the classroom without someone engaging the bolt lock again, people still cannot enter the classroom. This second lock becomes helpful when students are consistently exiting and entering the classroom, and remembering to lock the door is not necessary. 

While the safety risk issue is hard to combat entirely, EMHS has persisted in finding ways to make the school more protected in general.  

I.D. badges, being a safety feature at Edmond Public Schools for four years now, allow for individuals to be easily recognized, and they grant access into the building. This feature makes it more difficult for unauthorized people to enter. 

Having windows secured, officers on campus, and emergency drills also adds to the protection of the environment; however, student safety is never guaranteed. It is important for faculty and staff to recognize the severity of the situation and acknowledge insecurity, as staying on guard is a positive. 

Identifying what within the structure of society that lead institutions to the point of hopelessly adding safety features, is crucial to how change begins today. In the mean time, schools are individually left to find accommodations that work for their school and hope the best.  

This is unacceptable and preventable. The solutions may not be simple or easy, but we know they start with two things: common sense gun reform and mental health supports,” National Education Association said. 

It is unknown if a decrease in gun-related threats are to occur in the near future, which leaves schools to take their own measures to lowering this risk. EMHS’s safety and security measure should aid to the well-being of the community at the school.

Contact Grace Swisher at [email protected]