By Kayla Hunt, Columnist
Are school shootings becoming less unusual and a common occurrence? Are active shooter drills and preparations becoming an integral part of our school routine? Has the fear of being shot or injured while partaking in an educational environment become normalized?
It is nothing short of disappointing that children have to endure these fears when walking into a classroom. Furthermore, these fears have been anything but subdued. The amount of mass shootings have been steadily increasing: According to the K-12 School Shooting Database, there were 97 incidents in 2018 and there have been 30 incidents reported thus far in 2019.
As the number of incidents continues to grow, so has the fear and many students are starting to take matters into their own hands. The new mantra “Run, Hide, Fight” gives students three options when encountered with an active shooter. The first option is to run from the shooter and to try to escape the situation, the second option is to hide if they are unable to effectively remove themselves from the environment, and the third option is to fight the shooter with any available objects they have.
Many experts have debated on the appropriate approach for students and faculty to take when in this dangerous situation. Some experts have held their stance on the lockdown approach being the most effective and safest approach. However, the debate does cause confusion because they contradict one another. One strategy endorses escaping from the situation while the other endorses remaining where they are. Other experts believe that they should follow the “identify, assess, prevent” strategy.
It is hard to cite which strategy is most effective whilst in this situation, especially because it is hard to declare what different individuals will do when faced with adversity. The one common lining in all of this is that students are in learning environments and are faced with dire situations in which they were never taught was a place where they needed to be fearful.