Increase in Security Measures Helps Improve Safety
Its only February and 11 school shootings have already been reported in the U.S this year. Grief and loss have swept the nation, leaving many parents scared for the lives of their children. In a Gallup poll conducted in August 2017, 24 percent of U.S. parents said they fear for their children’s safety while they are at school. With these tragedies, that fear is rising, and something desperately needs to be done about it.
In order to prevent these school shootings, society need to ask itself, “What is the reason behind the increase in school shootings? What makes a person want to bring a gun to a school and shoot students and staff?” Many psychologists have been working on figuring out ways of identifying people who are considering committing terrible acts and how to help prevent them from going down that road. An article in Scientific America addresses the motivations behind school shootings saying “Signs of psychic trouble include being excessively introverted and lacking strong social attachments … Violent offenders are often pessimistic about their future and have low self-esteem; many have been harassed, bullied or rejected by classmates; suspended from school; or pressured by teachers.”
People who saw or experienced violence at a young age are also susceptible to brutal fantasies or tendencies. These experiences create beliefs that the only way to gain recognition or respect is through violence. Many individuals who are emotionally disturbed leave small cries for help in their daily lives, such as poems, drawings or hints of their mental state in daily conversations. School administrators, teachers, parents and other students need to be alert in order to catch the small verbal, written or behavioral signs that an individual is in a bad place mentally. Teachers in schools should be trained so that they will be able to spot these signs in their students. School psychologists should also help struggling students find places for themselves in society. Furthermore, all young persons, not just the students in bad mental states, should go through some sort of social training in school. They should be taught how to peacefully resolve conflicts and to treat their peers with respect.
In addition to trying to improve the mental state of troubled individuals, increased security measures should be put in place in every school. These potential measures would include metal detectors at the entrances to schools and inspections of the students’ belongings. For example, Marshall County High School in Benton Kentucky, the setting of a recent school shooting, will be requiring its students to have their bags, backpacks, and purses checked before entering the school according to the school website. Many schools, including Marshall County High School, have also begun conducting active shooter drills during school hours. These drills will help students and teachers be prepared for and maybe even prevent shootings in the future.
Increased security in schools is a nationwide movement. Students at Liberty have experienced these measures first-hand. In an effort to increase the safety of the school, students are required to go through metal detectors and mandatory bag checks before they enter Convocation. These security measures have not been well-received by the students, due to their inconvenience. However, it is important to keep in mind that even though this new security may make students wait in long lines, it is all worth it if Liberty is able to prevent a possible tragedy.
As Liberty University President Jerry Falwell amusingly stated in regards to the new security, “Would you rather be inconvenienced or be dead, I don’t know.”