Ash Veazie, Reporter

On March 27th during passing period, we heard an announcement saying that we all needed to go into class immediately and lock the doors because there was a lockdown. Lockdowns are usually put in place when there is a dangerous human or creature in or around the school, and when one occurs, there’s a panic in everyone. I remember when I walked out of my Creative Writing teacher’s class and the announcement went off, a million things ran through my mind, but the first thing was “School shooter”.

This isn’t okay. It’s not normal. It’s not good. I know I wasn’t alone in thinking it, as all my friends later reported to me that they were panicking, having anxiety attacks, or had an awful feeling about what was to come. In the end, the threat ended up being a criminal outside of Adams that the police were putting on a foot chase. But for nearly 15 minutes we were left alone in dark quiet rooms, with one thought on our mind. “Is Adams next? Are we the next Parkland? Am I going to live to see spring break? What do we do if the fire alarm goes off? Are my friends okay?”

The day before the lockdown, I read an article saying that the number of U.S. students killed in school shootings in 2018 was greater than the amount of people in the military who have been killed in combat operations. As I was writing this article, the people next to me were laughing and talking about what they’d do to stop a school shooter. The culture is pervasive in all the media we consume, from news to TV shows. People have suggested many things, from disarming the entirety of America to arming every teacher. I’m not a big fan of either of those solutions. Many school shootings are done with the AR-15, which has lead to people trying to ban that, but there are still many which are not. The solution isn’t any of these. It’s dealing with the reason that people commit these shootings. There is an obvious pattern after examining the perpetrators of school shootings: about 97% are male and 79% are white. This is doubtlessly a result of white male privilege. People might think that this is a result of mental health or bullying, but I know girls and people of color who have been bullied all their life, who have suffered from drastic mental health issues, and they have never been brought to kill anyone. If anyone needs statistics to back up that claim, roughly 20% of women have suffered rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. Depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% of the disability from neuropsychiatric disorders among women compared to 29.3% among men. In the POC community, mental health stigmas thrive. If mental health or bullying really mattered, why aren’t the groups of people suffering doing the school shootings?

American society needs to do something about this dilemma. It’s not acceptable that students are always afraid, that we’re flinching as hard as we are when we hear a loud pop in the cafeteria, that we’re having panic attacks when the school is on lockdown, that it’s so ingrained into our culture that we can’t get it out of our head.