Trigger Warning: This article talks about sensitive topics such as school shootings, death and gun violence
The fight for gun control continues in the hope of preventing another mass school shooting. According to CNN, there have been 180 school shootings in the past 10 years, with 114 deaths and 242 injured. There has always been violence in schools, since 1764, whether it be verbal or physical. Due to the prior mass shootings, schools are now more cautious towards their students.
According to K12 Academics, the first known account of school violence took place at Pontiac’s Rebellion School. In July 26, 1764, four Lenape Native Americans scalped and clubbed the principal, teacher and church leader Enoch Brown and 10 students. Only one boy, Archie McCullough, survived to tell the story. This was the first, but certainly not the last instance of school violence. According to ABC News, the Columbine High School shooting April 20, 1999, influenced many later school shooters. Students Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 18, made videos of what they were planning to do and apologized in advance. They opened fire inside Columbine High School, killing 13 and wounding 23 others, and then, killed themselves. The Columbine school shooting ranks as one of the worst mass shootings in US history. (CNN)
The Virginia Tech shooting, known as the deadliest school shooting in US history, happened on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus ( ABC News). According to History, senior Seung-Hui Cho opened fire on campus April 16, 2007. After killing 32 people and wounding 18, he shot himself. April 18, NBC News released a package they received from Cho, which he mailed between shooting attacks. The package contained photos of Cho holding a gun and a video of him going on about several topics and “wealthy brats.”
Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in Newtown, Conn. Dec. 14, 2012. He then took three guns from his house and went to the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School. Gunman Lanza took his own life in a classroom as law enforcement officials were on their way. The shooting killed 20 students and six adults.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school shooting in Parkland. Feb. 14, 2017 had a different reaction from the other mass shootings because of the National movement it sparked. Surviving teens immediately started the March For Our Lives movement, advocating for gun control.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student, opened fire at the school Valentine’s Day. He shot people in hallways and in classrooms, then got rid of his vest and weapons to blend in with the rest of the student body.
According to NBC News, the fire alarm was pulled in the midst of the shootings, causing students to flee out in the open, providing the perfect targets for Cruz. Cruz killed 14 students, three teachers and injured 14 others.
Due to the severe trauma that comes with the effects of mass school shootings, schools are more strict with students and their words now. Threats are taken seriously, resulting in students getting arrested and expelled from their schools. As mentioned in The Atlantic, school administrators and students are more on edge because they don’t want another Parkland shooting. They don’t want any more innocent kids and adults being killed or injured. Students may make remarks on social media meant to be “sarcastic” or “just jokes,” but to school faculty, it is anything but. Recently, the FBI was informed about a student who posted a threatening video online. The student was arrested, expelled from school and faced one felony charge.
Florida passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act in 2018, stating that a written school shooting threat is a second-degree felony. Nikolas Cruz too once posted photos on social media of guns, other weapons and threats before his assault on the high school. He even made posts joking about shooting up the school, which many students didn’t report. Although teens who claim they don’t really mean to shoot up their schools are getting arrested for their social media posts suggesting otherwise, students have to understand that threats to harm others isn’t funny and cannot be taken as a joke.
Students should not make any kind of negative comment online. Any sort of temper or anger should not be expressed in that way, especially if it’s towards another student or administrator. It is best to keep personal thoughts in personal boundaries. Repetitive threats or intimidating messages online is known as cyber bullying, which is quite common these days and schools try to keep an eye out for what their students post online. If students watch what they post online and don’t say things relating to harm their peers, then they wouldn’t face serious consequences like incarceration.