Due to the increasing occurrence of violence in schools across the United States, district boards are taking extreme measures to keep students safe.
According to a study done by the National Center for Education Statistics, 9 out of 10 public schools conduct simulation and lockdown drills for school shootings, with a striking 50% increase since 2003, 4 years after the Columbine shooting.
While in some cases, including the close call for Campolindo’s tennis team during a recent incident at Logan High, lockdowns do serve as a protective response to an actual threat, excessive drills do more harm than good.
At a time when student stress is at the forefront of concerns about campus climate, these emergency preparations create a heightened sense of danger among the student body.
Other alarming measures include locking every door to every classroom, regardless of whether there is a drill or not. Campolindo now employs “Lock Blocks” on classroom doors, which allows the doors to be locked from the inside in order to keep a campus intruder out.
As of February 27, Juaquine Moraga Middle School has also begun keeping doors prepped for a lockout.
These disturbing measures are being implemented for one reason: America’s guns.
While the government could reduce the incidences of school shootings by implementing new requirements and restrictions for gun licenses or prohibiting ownership of semi-automatic rifles, it remains reluctant to do so.
Thus, schools are left to fend for themselves.
Rather than mechanisms for locking campus doors, what we should be focused on is the source of the danger: Problematic people with access to weapons intended for waging war.
America’s gun culture is killing school culture, and few are willing to propose solutions to the real problem.
Increasing lockdowns and restricting student movement on campuses isn’t the answer; stronger gun control is.