Bengals From Both Angles: At Issue – Student safety Isabel Herrera, Staff Writer

Students go to school and learn. Teachers go to school and teach.

The main focus of staff members should be educating students. They should not have to stress about the safety of their students from a mass shooting.

A school day should focus on learning and not on how to survive a shooting.

Everyone is different.

Teaching all students to sit in a corner and hide is not what everyone prefers. Some students and their families may prefer that students find a way out rather than be sitting ducks.

The socioeconomic status of each school and its location may also put students at an unfair disadvantage.

Wealthier schools have more money and resources to keep children safe while less fortunate schools may not.

Those wealthy schools could hire more police officers and invest in other building improvements or programs that could potentially keep students safe. On the other hand, schools in poorer neighborhoods may not have these resources.

In communities where violence is more prevalent, the community may know how to handle these types of situations. People in schools in low crime areas may have little knowledge about gun violence and how to handle it.

If families came together to keep their children safe, many problems could be resolved. Families can make plans that fit the needs of every family to protect their children.

Students and their families could make their decision on how to react in case of a mass shooting. Some students and their families could invest in items such as a tourniquet, a first aid kit, or a bulletproof backpack to keep students safe and prepared.

Each student is different.

Some may be more ambitious and want to have those tools to keep themselves and others safe. Those decisions need to be up to families.

Decisions related to school shooting can be difference between life and death, so families should be more involved.

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Bengals From Both Angles: At Issue – Student safety

Students are in school for a minimum of seven hours a day. Athletes and students involved in arts and extracurricular activities can be at school from 9 to 11 hours for practice, rehearsals, and game days.

Schools are a home-away-from-home; many students spend more time at school than they do at home. With the increasing number of school shootings, some school officials around the country question what precautions should be taken to protect students.

The new process A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) has been implemented fully at all Plainfield School District 202 schools to help students and staff react in the case of an attacker.

Giving power to students and teachers by empowering them to fight back rather than sit in a designated corner puts them in the position to make decisions for themselves and possibly improve their chances of getting away safely.

Potential bullet-resistant doors and windows have also been brought into the wide-spread conversation. Although more costly compared to typical doors and windows, the economic cost is nothing standing next to the lives of children.

Not only should school officials prepare in case of an intruder, they should try to prevent attacks by paying attention to students. There should be small ratio of students to counselors to allow for regular communication with professionals.

Patterns of behavior such as lack of sleep, not conversing with others in class, and dropping grades should signal teachers to reach out. Oftentimes, teens communicate more through their actions than they do with speaking on their struggles.

And who better than peers to check on one another?

Life has no mercy for anyone, especially not teenagers. A sign of compassion may seem insignificant, but those on the receiving side will say otherwise.

In a school of thousands, it is easy to feel dauntingly invisible.

Teens should be encouraged to notice one another and make steps in communicating.

Teens should not feel like they are against the world nor should they be forced to carry life’s weight on their shoulders alone.

School officials must give students security in safety procedures and beyond the classroom.

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