Students Have Vowed: #NeverAgain

Another Tragic School Everytown for Gun Safety has stated that there have been 18 of them, making it sound like mass shootings in schools is an almost every day event.

Another Tragic School Everytown for Gun Safety has stated that there have been 18 of them, making it sound like mass shootings in schools is an almost every day event.

Kayla Mitchell, Staff Writer

Two months into 2018, and 18 school shootings later. What’s next?

You never know who is watching, and what their motives are. School shootings are not something that students plan on experiencing; they occur unknowingly and unexpectedly.

According to the Huffington Post, within the span of two months, there have already been 18 school shootings in the United States. That being said we never know when or where the next one is going to happen.

On February 14, 2018, a fire alarm at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, located in Parkland, Florida, was pulled, causing the freshman building of the school to evacuate outside into their designated positions. Unsourceable bullets began to fire into the crowd, leaving 17 dead and a horrific image in the survivors’ minds.

The alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and had been expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons. Cruz is now thought to be the culprit of one of the deadliest school shootings this nation has ever seen.

On the effectiveness of our school’s active shooter protocols, Adam Eynon, Da Vinci Communications Assistant Principal said, ¨I think it’s effective however, we need to train our students and staff to get the protocol and the drill.”

“We’ve been meeting as an administration with local police for a couple of months now, going over the building, protocol, and various scenarios. Basically, getting as much information as we can to train our students and teachers.”

At DVC, teachers and staff strive to create an environment in which students can openly speak on issues such as school shootings. Reason being, school shootings not only affect the people involved in them but the people who might face one in the future. It is essential for the students here to voice how they feel about this issue.

When speaking about the school shootings, President Donald Trump claimed the main motivator behind the shooting was mental illness, a recurring response when it comes to these active shootings. Trump has excused all mass shooters this year as being mentally disabled, causing many people to debate whether it’s the mass shooter or the gun itself that’s the ultimate problem.

One of the biggest controversies of this shooting is that Cruz, at the age of 19, purchased the AR-15 rifle legally. Leading many to wonder: if gun control laws were stricter, would those 17 people be alive today?

These discussions caused people to voice their frustrations, specifically, the survivors and students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

#NeverAgain, a movement created by the students of Douglas High School has had a huge impact on both social and political media. These students have used their voices collectively to communicate to the president and state legislatures that stricter gun laws would stop school shootings.

¨I think it affected a lot of us, in one way or another,” Wendy Rodriguez, a senior at Da Vinci Communications expressed. “Maybe in a relative form or maybe with just pain because it’s just sad that it could’ve been us, just imagining and knowing that it was a high school with students like us going to school like its a normal day.¨

Since the shooting, there have been plenty of conversations about the importance of saving lives versus the preservation of an overly broad freedom in this country. Many citizens have organized events protesting gun laws in America. Including the #NationalSchoolWalkout created by Women’s March Youth EMPOWER taking place on March 14th at 10:00 a.m.

Walking out was one of many effective methods used throughout history to make people aware of issues in America. On March 1st, 1968, the East L.A. Walkouts occurred, leaving a mark on what it means to be a student fighting for what you believe in.

This walkout was staged because many students were outraged that teachers were being prejudiced and perpetuating stereotypes about Mexican American students which in turn caused many to drop out and discouraged them from wanting to further their education. Because of the show of power of these walkouts, justice in the Chicano community was served and student’s voices were heard.

Like the students at Douglas, many students at other schools throughout the U.S. have spoken up about this issue, making many schools have conversations about the difficult topic. At DVC, it is encouraged that everyone’s voice is heard.

Schools all over the nation have tried to make an effort to educate students on the topic of school shootings, but there isn’t a way to possibly determine your reaction unless you’re experiencing it.

Eynon also stated,¨We can’t just say, well that happened in Florida so it’s not going to happen here. We have to be aware, prepared, and ready for it.¨ He added,¨ The more we talk about it with our students, the more likely they will speak up if they see something.¨

This week has been filled with lessons, discussions, and a drill preparing students and staff in the case of a school shooting.

Administrators hope that if students hear or see something threatening, they will say something about it. Whether it’s telling a teacher, principal, advisor or parent it can make a huge difference in the actions that person might take. Being quiet about the situation will only put everyone, as well as yourself, in harm’s way.

Just because someone might label it as a joke doesn’t necessarily mean that it is one, you never know what someone’s motives are. Any joke about harming yourself or others, in general, should be taken seriously. Speaking up if you see something or hear something, on social media, in the classroom, or even walking down the halls, can be one of the only ways to prevent an event like this from happening.

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