Bomb and gun threats threaten the safety of school
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Nowadays, Children Have To Deal With Problems They Shouldn't Even Have To Think About

How safe do children ACTUALLY feel in school?

Nowadays, Children Have To Deal With Problems They Shouldn't Even Have To Think About

Growing up in a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin, I had the life of any "normal" kid: I attended a public school, participated in sports and clubs and spent extra time with family and friends. But, that was back then. Now, there is no such thing as a "normal" life.

As my freshman year of high school began, gun and bomb threats at school began to occur. By the end of my high school career, we had a total of two bomb threats and two gun threats.

I vividly remember sitting in my Medical Terminology classroom my junior year when "code red" sounded over the loudspeaker. We all rushed to the front wall of the classroom. Sitting tightly packed like sardines, my classmates, teacher, and I felt distressed and apprehensive over what was going on in OUR school.


Many thoughts ran through my mind as I sat on my classroom floor waiting for a true answer. Is there a shooter in our school? Where are the police? Is the SWAT team here? Has anyone been killed? Why is this taking so long? After over an hour of sitting quietly, anxious and overwhelmed with emotion, we were finally given the OK to resume back to our normal class schedule.

"Every day, not only was I living in fear of a shooter actually entering my school, but I was also having part of my time in school taken away over something that no child should never have to worry about, or even have to think about."

After this major scare, my school district decided to take action. One of the many steps they took included taking away part of our school day for lessons on how to handle a situation if a gunman would ever enter our school.

Obviously, I was incredibly grateful these extra steps were taken to attempt to make our staff and students feel "more safe" at school. Every day, not only was I living in fear of a shooter actually entering my school, but I was also having part of my time in school taken away over something that I, among all children, should never have to worry or even have to think about.

Quite frankly, it is absolutely disturbing. I should be spending my time in school learning and studying, not being given active shooter training. As a student in the United States, it may feel as though we are the only ones in the world living with this type of terror. You may be surprised to find that students in other countries are experiencing this on a similar level as well.

"... the mines had injured and killed not only hundreds of people, but over 150 children..."

ISIS, the Islamic State, has made headlines over the years for the destructive and horrifying acts the terrorist group has committed. The capital of ISIS was held in the city of Raqqa, Syria. As they were in control of Raqqa, scattered within the city were a great number of anti-personnel mines (mines designed for use against humans). ISIS finally cleared out of Raqqa in October of 2017. But, of course, they abandoned thousands of unexploded landmines as they fled. Even though residents were finally able to return back to their homes, they soon began to realize they were far from safe.

According to Sarah Aziza, a writer for the award-winning news organization The Intercept, emergency medical staff were receiving a large number of patients who were mangled by heat and shrapnel as a result of mine explosions. The mines were reportedly hidden inside toy cars and dolls, teddy bears, refrigerators, Qurans, cabinets, and much more. As reported by Humans Right Watch, a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization, on February 12, 2018, the mines had injured and killed not only hundreds of people, but over 150 children. Fast forward to now, 6 months later, could you imagine how many more people are continuing to be affected?

The U.S. State Department declared schools as safe, allowing children to begin attending school again. While schools were shut down, the state department found multiple mines (IEDs) set around one of the schools in the city, showing that children were an obvious target by ISIS.

The U.S. State Department sponsored "mind and wellness" courses in schools to show children what mines may look like around the city, teaching them what should be done if they see one, and how to steer clear of stepping on one.

As children from Raqqa shared their stories in an interview on VICE news, I couldn't help but feel sadness by the loss these children have endured at such a young age. They lost so much due to the mines: family, relatives, friends, their homes, and even the feeling of safety at school and their own city.

"School used to be a "safe place", but now, many are terrified as they walk through the doors every morning."

An awfully high number of students in the United States have been affected by gun violence in school, and the same goes for the children of Raqqa with hidden explosives. Knowing these circumstances, there is one definite thing us students have in common: fear.

School used to be a "safe place", but now, many are terrified as they walk through the doors every morning. I remember the amount of fear I felt after the code red during my junior year. Setting foot into school the next day, fearing it would all happen again. Children should not be living in fear every day over the possibility of having a gunman enter their school, or be afraid to leave their homes in fear of stepping on a mine.

Fear of death is something that never should be felt by a child as they enter school every day.

Their worries should NOT include being killed at school by a shooter or explosive, they should be far from that.

No matter how many courses are provided to students about an active shooter or an explosive going off, the fear will forever be there. How much are these circumstances affecting the everyday life of children? How will students ever feel safe again?

What will be the next step taken?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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