By: Lauren Sannito, Staff Writer
School safety and gun violence have been the topic of discussion this past week. From the topic of 2nd Amendment rights, to whether or not schools need to take more safety precautions. Are schools doing enough to keep the students and faculty safe? It may be time for the students voices to be heard.
Nationwide school walkouts have been occurring over the past week, so the student’s voices can be heard. The next planned walk out for the nation is on March 14, which includes walking out of school for the 17 victims, who lost their lives during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Two other dates planned for these walkouts are March 24 and April 20. The March 24 walkout will occur in Washington D.C., as the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting will take apart of the protest called “March for Our Lives”. The April 20 walkout is not only in honor of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, but it is to honor the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting in Littleton, Colo. Parents have resulted to calling their children out, and even having the students just walk out at the exact time of the massacre that happened at Columbine. Some schools across the country have threatened to punish students that walk out during any of those three days.
The one question circling the local community: is District 308 doing anything to prevent these school shootings and providing more safety to students? Well, on February 22, Oswego High School conducted an in-depth lockdown drill. Principal Mike Wayne called over the intercom, and addressed the situation going on in our country today. Principal Wayne stated, “As a society, we need to come together–and work together, young people and adults, to address the unacceptable level of violence that is taking place across our nation.”
Having school administration recognize the problem and suggest solutions, including young students and adults coming together, is a step in the right direction. School safety has been known to be an issue across the country for quite a few years now; maybe even decades, yet there is still nothing that has been done to prevent it. Principals talking about the shootings and how their school will not be like the others, does not stop it from happening. Sure, every school in America may be taking extra steps to ensure school safety, and participating in more detailed lockdown drills, as OHS did on Thursday. Assistant Principal William Nunamaker conducted the detailed lockdown drill and gave students options such as, “These are stressful times, and we can help to combat that through training and discussion.
In an emergency situation, locking down in a classroom is very likely the first option available, but please know that you have the ability to evacuate and leave the building also.”
Giving students these options, conducting these drills, and answering those questions can make a big difference to prevent situations like these from happening, and if they do happen, the students and staff members will be prepared. Surely, schools can discuss and prepare for the worst, but will anyone really know what to do in a real situation? Schools nationwide are trying to fulfill all of the necessary measures in terms of security, and are testing out the waters to see if that is making a difference. As far as school walkouts for Oswego High School, no walkout has been planned yet. But you can expect the students’ voices to be heard.