COLUMN: I’m begging for educational safety


Katja Benz, Columnist

On May 24, an 18-year-old man shot and killed 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas. It was the second to last day of school at Robb Elementary School, where the shooting occurred.

When I look to the news and credible sites like AP, the Uvalde shooting was the second deadliest in United States history, after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. As a student, I get incredibly worried any time I hear of a school shooting. I have friends and family who are either currently in or wanting to pursue education.

While there are drills and videos that explain what to do, neither teachers nor students can fully be prepared to experience or witness a school shooting.

I constantly worry that a shooter could walk onto our campus and harm students all over campus in a matter of minutes.

The most recent college shooting took place earlier this year took place on Bridgewater College’s campus, in Bridgewater, VA. Two people were killed and one was injured.

What scares me is that nobody seems to be doing anything. Politicians seem too focused on creating slogans to prove that they are better than others, the police seem to not want to do anything, and it really seems like people don’t want to ban their guns.

I just want this to change. I am trying to stay as safe as I can, but a gunman can walk into any building at any time and shoot down both students and professors.

I have so many questions, but none of them seem to get answered. All people seem to do is not want this to change.

Why won’t people fix things?

Why don’t children’s lives matter, or if they do, at what cost? What needs to change for this to be fixed?

I know people care about their children and their safety, but what about the safety of the environment in which they learn?

And school boards and departments of education should be doing something about this too.

Locking the doors immediately after school ends, having students use their student ids to sign into school every morning, or taking attendance at the bus stop are a few things that school districts can do.

Colleges can give students keys to their classrooms or sign into class using their id (and having the door open when they do that and closing immediately afterwards).

Asking teachers what they think would best serve them to keep themselves and students safe, while actually delivering those resources to them is vital.

However, without the ability to listen and critically think, nothing will change. And it needs to.

Please help. I’m worried about student safety (my own included) and you should be too.

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].