Growing up in Fairbury, we have been undoubtedly privileged. We have rarely seen tragedy or senseless acts of violence happen anywhere other than on the news.
We’ve been raised in a seemingly safe, protected bubble where we’ve learned to trust almost everyone and everything in our surroundings. We’ve never been given a reason to be truly terrified of anything.
It’s time we pop that bubble and step into the harsh reality of today.
So far in 2018, there have been 18 school shootings. A school shooting being defined as an instance where a gun was fired on campus. These instances have occured in schools not very different from ours. School shootings are no longer just isolated instances in big cities far away–they’re beginning to creep closer and closer to home.
Despite these threats becoming a more common reality every day, we still live our lives like we’re never in any danger. Growing up in this bubble, we’ve developed a habit of abandoning safety for the sake of convenience. We leave doors unlocked because we don’t want to take the time to unlock them again. We don’t think to question strangers we see in the hallways. We prop doors to the school open and don’t think to shut them again, leaving them open all night.
We consistently have fire drills, but when was the last time we, as a school, ever discussed what to do in case of an intruder?
We need to stop pretending that the terrible acts of violence we see on the news could never happen in a school like ours because it could. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can pop the bubble we’ve grown up in and start taking steps to better prepare and protect ourselves.
There are simple and easy steps we could be and should be taking in order to protect ourselves in the event of an intruder. Lock classroom doors during the day and take the time to unlock them when needed; The few seconds it takes away from learning is worth the locked door potentially keeping a shooter at bay.
Walk around to the doors at the front of school instead of propping a door open potentially leaving it open all night; The short walk into the school isn’t even comparable to the possibility of an intruder having easy access into the building at any hour of the night.
Ideally we would never have to take such measures, but until the loss of student lives and school shootings are no longer a common occurrence, it is a reality we can no longer ignore. We can’t pretend that we are safe from this type of evil because we aren’t.
If these tragedies can happen in schools like Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook and Columbine, it can happen in schools like Fairbury Jr./Sr. High School.