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School life after shootings

Olivia DiSanti, Online Managing Editor

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“Back in my day…”

Everyone has heard this from an adult in their lifetime. However, it is now teens who are saying this about school and the “inner workings” of it.

There used to be a time when a fire alarm going off simply meant a fire drill was occuring. There was no thought of “What if this is a ploy to get students out in the hallway to be targets?” After Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s (MSD) massive shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, people have been more weary of the way they interpret certain aspects of their school life. The MSD shooter pulled the fire alarm to get as many students out in the hallway as possible. There, he was able to “open-fire”. He was able to gain access to campus when he knew the gates would be unmonitored.

As shown at MSD, something as simple as an open gate could lead to fatalities. Teachers and students here at Park Vista have come to know the “easiest routes” into the school from parking lots. They simply saw open gates as convenience. However nowadays, everything must be kept closed and locked, monitored by a staff member or camera and more. The student parking lot is close to a back gate near the portables. Many students are annoyed that they must walk to the front of the school, since in the past a teacher or staff member could just open it for them or it would just remain unlocked. Schools cannot take anymore chances. It is sad to think, but things like minor inconveniences are only the beginning of monumental change.

In August 2018, Park Vista’s fire alarm went off with there being no prior knowledge of a scheduled drill. It seemed like time froze in the classrooms. Many people’s immediate thought was that this was an attempt at a MSD repeat. Even teachers were unsure of what to do. In the past, students would jump at any opportunity to get out of class and talk to their friends at a fire drill. Not anymore.

“Armed teachers”. This is another thing students never thought could become a possible reality. There have proposals brought up by President Donald Trump and other U.S. government officials in support of this idea. The fact that teachers even need to be considered for weaponry and self-defense training is insane. Most teenagers could not fathom the idea of walking into their Kindergarten classroom knowing the teacher has a loaded gun in case of an attack.

A football game is meant to be a fun and cheerful event where one can express all their school spirit. However, on Aug. 18, 2018 at Palm Beach Central High School, a shooting occurred. Although not a “random” act of violence (Two individuals were targeted), it was still a dangerous shooting. As a result, Park Vista and other area schools have changed their regulations on games. These new rules include clear bags, no admittance after second quarter and after the game begins no one is allowed to exit.

The sad reality is that school safety and lifestyle has drastically changed in just a few years time. Things will continue to get worse if solutions are not instated in school systems. Children should be able to go to school without a second thought on their safety.

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