School Shooting Essay Example
In Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals, Lorde blends her personal experiences with social issues that plagued 1970s America. The novel consists of journal entries during Lorde’s battle with breast cancer in 1978, which ended with her going through a mastectomy. Lorde is able to relate this hardship to that of feminism and society’s issues with women’s appearances through her struggles to cope with the loss of her breast and through her choice to not wear a prosthetic. When reading the novel, I could not help but realize that some of my own life experiences intertwined with the social issues of today. Though eighteen years young, I have experienced a rich history of events that could take chapters to cover in a history book, but there are only a few that remained adhered to my mind. [Enter thesis here]
My first memory of someone threatening violence at my school was a bomb threat in the winter of 2008. Someone called in, made the threat, and by two in the afternoon teachers were rushing to get us on buses. I was in kindergarten at the time and thought nothing of it because the staff did not tell us youngsters anything and because it was exciting to go home early. I was shoved into the bus that took me to my babysitter while my brother was separated from me and took the bus to my grandmother’s. The separation was not scary, it happened a couple times previous, so there were no alarms yet to ring in my head.
It was when my grandmother picked me up from the babysitter and took me to her house that I was told that something was going on. She told my brother and I that someone wanted to hurt us and she was thankful we were home safe. For the remainder of that day we watched the local news, which reported the story of the bomb threat, and waited for my parents to come and pick us up.
Though that was my first experience with school violence, it was not my last; by the next time someone called in a bomb threat, I knew the possibilities for how the day could end, thanks to the rising amount of mass shootings that inundated the media in those times. I remember the second bomb threat more vividly than I remember the first. It was in 2015 and I was in the eighth grade. The previous night our superintendent called our landline and told us of the threat, but school was still to be in session the next day. The buses would have to pull up into the front office and every kid would be searched for anything suspicious. My brother and I decided to go to school earlier that day so we would not have to wait in line to get checked, and throughout the entire time our mood was lighthearted. We chatted with the officers who guarded the front office and when we went our separate ways, I went into my homeroom, sat down, and watched a television show on my iPad.
Despite the bomb threats, my school never took any preventative measures until 2018 in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting. It was then our administration decided to hire a school resource officer and to make shooter drills more prominent in our everyday lives. There were three drills we practiced: lockdowns, lockouts, and faux fire alarms. Once a month, the fire alarm would go off and we were to remain in our classrooms and stay silent, practicing for the possibility of a shooter trying to lure us out. Even though I was sixteen at the time, the nonstop violence and preparation for such had yet to impact me, but in retrospect I understand how disturbing it is now. We were figuring out the best hiding places so we would not be shot first and we were told to cause as much chaos as possible if a shooter were to come into the classroom. We were to throw books, desks, chairs, anything that could have delayed a violent ending. Throughout all this, however, I still remained unbothered; to me, it was another Tuesday.
It is so peculiar to me how these school shootings cause great sadness over the country, but the only time they get talked about is during a morose segment on the news for a couple of days and then it dies down again. On the internet, people will give those who have lost and are lost their thoughts and prayers, but then the next day it is business as usual. Even I have fallen victim to that a few times. During my highschool career, I would check my phone, see a notification about a school shooting, put it down, and forget about it until some years later. They did not shake me to the core because I had become so used to seeing them that I was desensitized. I forgot that these were kids my age losing their lives in senseless violence because there had been so many kids before them that befell the same fate.
My eyes were opened once again to the disturbing reality of school shootings when it finally hit home. A couple of days after I moved into my dorm and was finally getting the hang of life on the collegiate level, my friend sent me an article about two kids who were arrested for planning to shoot up two high schools. One of those high schools was mine. They were dropouts who wanted to teach the administrations a lesson, so they planned to separate and commit the crime at the same time so that the police would be given an ultimatum. Reading the article made me think of my friends and family who were still attending, and of the teachers and staff I had become close to during my years going there. I was so happy to be reading an article about these conspirators being jailed rather than them completing their sadistic mission, but I was so mad at myself for taking so long to remember how horribly common these occurrences were.
In 2021, there have already been 46 mass shootings, including one from Indianapolis which has been the only one I heard about from the media. Americans are continuing to die from these shootings, but the country is no longer paying attention. The general population has become desensitized to these acts of violence, not because they choose to, but because shootings have become about as common as eating cereal for breakfast. It took a near miss for me to break from the trance, but I am afraid it is going to take something much more devastating for the country to wake up again.