Are Students Safe?

Rachita Chaudhury

School shootings around the country make the news all the time and FHS students seem to shake off this epidemic, but is our school at risk for a tragedy?

Sophomores Elizabeth Criscione and Lauren Altobelli were asked if they felt it was possible for FHS to have a shooting.

Criscione stated, “There are definitely kids that are depressed and ostracized enough to do something like that. I just don’t know if they would have access to weapons as easily as other towns. It doesn’t seem like Franklin does a lot to prevent this stuff though; people are socially unaccepted all the time”.

FHS has a zero-tolerance bullying policy, but is it sufficient enough to keep us safe? Outside of school disputes or bullying incidents happen all the time that don’t reach our school administrators.

We have antisocial peers among us who get made fun of and we may have to act upon this to ensure no one’s social rejection leads to something violent.

Violence is not a big problem in our town, though, so the atmosphere is not one for a school shooting. In addition, gaining access to a gun in our small suburban town is not the easiest thing to do. Lauren Altobelli spoke in favor of this view point.

Altobelli said, “We live in Franklin! Nothing happens here, and plus, I think we have the resources so that no one is that depressed. If teachers or students see someone severely unhappy, they usually report it to guidance”.

Schools will always have depressed kids and people go to guidance all the time. It is so easy to push off these concerns because it seems like everyone gets depressed and shootings only happen far away from here like Virginia and Colorado.

Last year’s Columbine assembly brought forward the issue with terrifying footage of the shooting and victims, but concern has faded significantly ever since. The Friends Of Rachel Club here has a low member turnout each meeting.

We must be careful, though. The shootings happen because of mentally distressed students. Their peers did not necessarily see something as tragic as a mass murder in their future.

When you go to these schools that have had shootings, you don’t see blaring red lights that tell you there is something wrong with the school. So, our seemingly normal high school is not necessarily in the clear.

Can this shooting issue be extended to an overall problem with teens these days? Senior Sean McKeown says media plays into the increase in youth violence.

“I think violent video games and movies contribute to violence in youths today. There is so much violence out there that kids don’t see the problem with it. I also think though that people who commit these crimes have mental problems from the start and don’t necessarily just become dangerous people. It’s important to keep these people away from weapons and others”.

We hear kids talking about COD and MW3 all the time and they talk about weapons without realizing there is a reality to killing.

Most of these people would never think about shooting someone for real, but those who do are almost encouraged by the games and movies of today.

Also, it is common to see people with mental disorders commit violent crimes against people. They could have hazardous personalities from the beginning.

What are we as a community supposed to do about this? You can’t convict someone of a crime just by what they can potentially do.

The Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.  There was another Virginia Tech shooting on Thursday, December 8, 2011.

Only 2 people were killed, including the shooter. It is sad to use the word “only”, but so much worse has happened at school shootings that it becomes appropriate.

According to Squidoo School Shooting Statistics, Massachusetts has had 2 school shootings: Great Barrington with 2 deaths in 1993 and Cambridge with 1 death in 2009.

As a country, the U.S.has had 90 school shootings and 231 deaths, but 13 of the 90 shootings did not result in any deaths. The first recorded shooting was in 1966. This problem has escalated to a world wide problem as well.

The bottom line is not to be mean to other people because you don’t know what else could be bothering them and what they are capable of. Everyone deserves to be happy, so try to be open and friendly to everyone and go to guidance if you suspect anything.

Franklin is a safe town so far, but with youth violence on the rise these days, we have to proceed with caution.

How do you feel about school shootings?

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