How is Valor Keeping the School Safe?

In America, a dreadful illness lures over school children and teachers. It is not covid-19 or the flu, it is something much more heartbreaking. A school shooting. This saddening occurrence at schools causes heartbreak, trauma, and fear to surviving victims, and families of the deceased victims. According to the Sandy Hook Promise, more than 338,000 students in the U.S. have experienced gun violence at school since the shooting in Columbine Highschool in Littleton, Colorado. On April 20, 1999, two seniors at Columbine High School conducted a massacre at their school, killing twelve students, and one teacher, and injured twenty-four

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It has only been four months into the year 2023, and there have already been reported eighty-nine school shootings across the country. To put this into context there has been a large increase in school shootings since 1970, with 2022 having the highest amount at 303. The issue has worsened to the point that in 2020, it has become the leading cause of death in children. In the country, panic buttons are installed in about forty-three percent of public schools, and seventy-eight percent have locks. Although schools have put billions into the security of the school, the chances of a school going through a shooting only worsen every year with people of all ages being an attacker.

The most recent school shooting happened at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee on March 27, 2023.

So how is Valor dealing with national security concerns in schools?

Tige Watson who is the Director of Safety & Security said, “We take many precautions here. We have a school resource officer who is armed and,  the school has conducted training with staff to help them know what to do in the event of it happening. We also have more Douglas County officers on alert to come in here with speed and force, than what we had before. There are also other precautions which I can’t say”

While schools can do all they can to protect the premises of the schools, it is impossible to do so. The better way to save lives is to prevent the shooting from even occurring. Most of the time, the motive for the attack on a school is unknown, but half the time the act was committed by a former student or current student of the school. When the attacker is a student, mentality issues play a big part in their actions. Some warning signs of a person to conduct an act of violence at the school are being a victim of racial, religious, and gender bullying, being very temperamental, self-harm and harm to others, having access to weapons, and alienation. When a person is bullied for a very long time for their differences from other students, later on in life they accumulate a fit of anger so deep leading to revenge to want to conduct an attack on their school.

Other factors include the diversity of the school and the region where the school is in the country. The lesser diversity the higher the chances of the attacker being a student, and the higher diversity the higher the chances of the attacker being unknown to the school. US News reported last year that most of the shootings come from California and Texas, and the least came from Vermont and Wyoming.

With the number of shootings increasing every year, it is best for schools to educate students on how to act in a shooting. When children are in knowledge of the dangers they would respond much better to the problem. However, this does not ensure that the school can save everyone’s life. At the end of the day, people should be protected as much as possible.