What It’s Like Currently Being a Student in America

I’ve grown up in a post-Columbine world. The talk of school shootings is not something new to me, I’ve been taught how to prepare for one my whole life. I’ve spent hours siting in dark classrooms, huddled in the corner with my classmates praying it’s only a drill. As of February, there have been a total of 18 school shootings in 2018. The latest, taking place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people.

As a current student, this terrifies me. Many days I wake up wondering if I could be next. I’ve made action plans for every classroom I go to, in case I find myself in an active shooter situation. When I see students walking with their hands in a hoodie, I wonder if they’re concealing a gun. When I hear screaming in the hallway, I immediately think “where should I hide?” The worst part about all of this is that it is a preventable issue, yet our government just won’t do anything to prevent it.

I don’t want to be the next victim of a school shooting. I don’t want to see my classmates be victims of a school shooting. I don’t want to see anymore children die in school a shooting. We’re required by law to go to school from the time we turn five until we graduate from high school, and yet we are not safe there. I may now be in college, and have made the decision to be in school, but I still deserve to be safe. No students will be safe until we have gun control, and no students will be safe until our government stops taking money from the NRA.

It is not too soon, now is the time to talk about this. April 20th, 1999 was the time to talk about gun control, December 14th, 2012 was the time to talk about gun control, February 14th, 2018 was the time to talk about gun control, and yet we didn’t. We’ve become so numb as a nation that we get over mass tragedy is a few weeks. We don’t even remember the details of all the recent shootings, because there have been so many. The victims of these horrific acts of violence deserve to be remembered. They deserve justice, and that can only come when we, as a nation, make sure this never happens again. People my age and younger, like Emma Gonzalez, are having to step up and lead a movement. Children, and people who are barely adults, should not have to constantly tell grown-ups that our lives are worth more than your right to own an automatic weapon.

 

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18 thoughts on “What It’s Like Currently Being a Student in America

  1. I totally agree with you no child or parent should live in fear of a school massacre. The situation should of been addressed after Columbine, our was after Dunblane school massacre. I am not saying our country has sorted violent crime, far from it. But touch wood our schools are as safe as possible.
    Sadly it is all to do with money.
    Here are two post I wrote on the subject if you are interested, no pressure
    https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/enough-is-enough/

    https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/watch-the-wall/
    America needs all students to speak up like you. No one needs a gun, the military and police sadly yes but no one else. Be brave and be safe. 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I wish we would have responded to columbine like Scotland responded to Dunblane. You’re right, a lot of it has to do with money, specifically from the NRA in the US. I’ll be sure to check out your posts!

      Like

      1. Not only Scotland but all of the UK reacted to Dunblane, I am from England. Sadly these horrors happen no matter what but if guns were banned it would not be as easy for young or troubled people to get hold of them 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Alyssa, I just wanted to say again how much I appreciate this post.
    It seems that shortly after a shooting people soon forget, push it aside, and ignore it.
    Your post shows how it doesn’t just go away.
    These fears are real and our children have to live with them every day.
    I can’t imagine what it must be like to go to school in fear every day.
    I saw a friend’s post where she told of a FB friend who took her child to school that morning and her child told her to remember what she had on in case she had to identify her.
    No one should think like that. no one.
    I shared this on my blog and Facebook.
    Thank you so much for your words.
    May there be NO MORE.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Alyssa! These school shoots are so horrible and happen way too often. I remember Columbine because this happened my last year in high school. It was so insane because the kids thought it was funny to keep pulling the fire alarms having us all fun outside. There are questions that should be asked of this most recent murderer that have not been asked. It seems like the cause for some of these terrible acts in previous situations has been the person was on an antidepressant that was not right for them. A friend of mine from school’s brother was a very kind man and had a wife and 2 children. One day, he shot his wife, 2 kids and himself, turned out he was on an antidepressant, but it wasn’t the right dose or kind for his body chemistry. I might be wrong, but has anyone asked this kid in Florida if he was on any antidepressants?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of the people who knew him are claiming mental illness, but I haven’t heard any talk of medications. For his case mental illness is not a viable excuse because his planning shows he knew what he was doing was wrong, so he was not in an uncontrollable state of psychosis. I think talking about mental illness and shootings gets tricky, because it’s so easy to demonize those with mental illness or act like it’s an acceptable excuse. The truth is most of the mass shooters know exactly what their doing, which means even if they have a mental illness it isn’t severe enough to cause them to have no idea what they’re doing, making it an invalid excuse. I’m sorry about your friend, that must have an incredibly difficult situation. I also can’t imagine people constantly pulling the fire alarm, some people are incredibly insensitive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is really sad to think how many people knew the shooter was ill, but did not speak up about it. I notice how quick people are to gossip in my work place and you know kids are very into gossip, but yet when it matters they say nothing. It is so heartbreaking.

        Liked by 1 person

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