Students and Staff weigh in on school safety

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

In response to the recent Florida school shooting, schools around the country are planning a national walkout on March 14th to protest violence and spread awareness. North Penn High School is joining the walkout, standing with victims and allies to promote school safety. As North Penn is a school of over 3,000 people, I sat down with a few students and staff members to capture a few different perspectives on the situation.

Hope Suitor- Grade 10:

  1. In light of the recent Florida school shooting, how safe do you feel at NPHS?

“I feel safe, but there is always that fear that something will happen because it’s such a large school.”

  1.  What do you think needs to be done to prevent these situations from occuring again?

“Having people be confident in telling a responsible adult if they notice any signs.”

  1. How do you feel about the March 14th national school walkout that is gaining footing across the country?

“I believe this is a great protest that allows students and faculty members to participate in and raise awareness about gun violence.”

Souley Cissohoko- Grade 10:

  1. In light of the recent Florida school shooting, how safe do you feel at NPHS?

“I feel sort of safe. I’m still scared that a gun could get into the school.”

  1.  What do you think needs to be done to prevent these situations from occuring again?

“Stricter gun laws. Maybe even banning guns outright.”

  1. How do you feel about the March 14th national school walkout that is gaining footing across the country?

“I’m all for it. We are remembering the students who have died doing their normal school routines. We should all go to school safely and come back home good.”

Cassie Montgomery- Grade 10:

  1. In light of the recent Florida school shooting, how safe do you feel at NPHS?

“I feel safe.”

  1.  What do you think needs to be done to prevent these situations from occuring again?

“It’s not about getting rid of guns, but making sure they are used safely.”

  1. How do you feel about the March 14th national school walkout that is gaining footing across the country?

“I feel very strongly. It’s a student-wide movement led by students at a major high school – and now it’s nationwide. I’m happy to support it!”

Thomas Lloyd- Grade 11:

  1. In light of the recent Florida school shooting, how safe do you feel at NPHS?

“I personally don’t feel nearly as safe as I should. Considering the fact that incidences like these are becoming more common, I feel like we’re unprotected; more so, I feel like we’re underprepared.”

  1.  What do you think needs to be done to prevent these situations from occuring again?

“To prevent things like these, I believe a few things could be done: background checks on anyone of legal age to own weaponry, unidentified object detectors should be put into place to detect anything suspicious that may be covered by bags/clothing, a redefining and rewriting of the second amendment – “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Times change, and I believe that rules and regulations of the State and Government should follow suit.”

  1. How do you feel about the March 14th national school walkout that is gaining footing across the country?

“I would also participate in the walkout… if only I wasn’t taking the level IV NLE (National Latin Exam) on the same day!”

Leland Ly- Grade 11:

  1. In light of the recent Florida school shooting, how safe do you feel at NPHS?

“With all of the security and safety measures at North Penn, I feel safer at school than I do in my own home.”

  1.  What do you think needs to be done to prevent these situations from occuring again?

“I believe that tighter gun laws are the first step in preventing more school shootings. Also, deeper investigations of students with mental disabilities.”

  1. How do you feel about the March 14th national school walkout that is gaining footing across the country?

“There’s a walkout? Either way, I don’t understand the power in school walkouts. It’s ineffective and rarely makes change. It’s merely a ploy to avoid school for a day. I would suggest a protest or a boycott that actually causes inconvenience to the school and the government that forces changes to be made.”

Mrs. Grunmeier- Health and Swim Teacher:

  1. In light of the recent Florida school shooting, how safe do you feel at NPHS?

“I do feel safe coming to school everyday. Our school is filled with teachers and staff who truly care about our students and want to to keep everyone safe. Since this latest attack, I have been more attentive and cautious of my surroundings. As you know, I spend a good amount of the day in the pool and not at my computer. Honestly, I do feel a sense of concern and anxiousness that if an emergency would occur, we do not have an intercom system to hear any information or directions for everyone in the pool area.”

  1.  What do you think needs to be done to prevent these situations from occuring again?

“I think our society needs to take a deeper look into mental illness and how to better help those who are struggling. The more awareness and education that is actively available can only benefit our country.”

  1. How do you feel about the March 14th national school walkout that is gaining footing across the country?

“I absolutely love that our country is joining together in an effort to raise awareness in making our schools and institutions safer. Making a nationwide statement with the walkout is only the beginning; we need to find a solution to end the violence. Too many innocent lives and families are being ruined by these senseless acts.”

Mrs. Cassel- English Teacher:

  1. In light of the recent Florida school shooting, how safe do you feel at NPHS?

“Unfortunately, if someone wants to get into a school building, he or she will often find a way, especially if it is right at the beginning or ending of the school day. However, we do have procedures in place that make it more difficult for a person to get into a classroom. Locking the doors and staying out of view in a classroom may deter someone who is trying for easy targets.  As long as I am in my classroom, I feel a higher degree of safety than I do in the library, cafeteria, or auditorium, where safety measures are so much harder to implement.”

  1.  What do you think needs to be done to prevent these situations from occuring again?

“More security guards here would definitely help. The school has already implemented such measures as the fence between A and H pods and locked doors everywhere except the front entrance. Also, since the perpetrators in school shootings are most often current or former students, discussions between adults and students need to address when and how to approach a trusted adult with any information related to another troubled student.”

  1. How do you feel about the March 14th national school walkout that is gaining footing across the country?

“In a perfect world, everyone would respectfully go to a designated location and stand silently for 17 minutes in solidarity for the tragedy that occurred in Florida. Maybe different people could say the students’ names and mini-bio for each minute as all others stand silently. Is that possible? I would hope so.”

Each person has a different opinion and perspective on the topic of school safety. However, it’s important that we all unite to prevent situations like the Florida shooting and countless other school shootings from happening again. Together, we can spread knowledge and awareness to keep ourselves and others safe.

For more information on the March 14th national school walkout, visit https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/18/us/national-student-walkout-womens-march-trnd/index.html.