In the wake of school shootings, there lies a constant fear of imminent danger for the student population of America. Living on a college campus in the middle of North Carolina, I have always felt something similar to a blanket of security — a “this couldn’t possibly happen to me” mindset.
This mindset was quickly changed when NC State went on lockdown this week due to receiving a “suspicious package” from a “disturbed” looking man walking throughout one of our engineering campus’ buildings.
This is a campus that I walk every day, a building that my friends and I have made a home of. A building that I’ve pulled all-nighters in, sat in lectures and laughed with friends. Most importantly, this is a building that soon became a disaster zone when I witnessed one of my friends scrambling out and onto a bus away from the campus.
Of course, officers quickly responded to this situation by evacuating the buildings and sending various personnel; however, the questions remain — what do we do next? How can we keep our students safe?
For school shootings, the answer seems, relatively, simple — in the form of legislation and policy change — but what about threats, such as the one NC State experienced this week, where the ammunition is already banned?
In the midst of shock and confusion, the only answer I can think of is that there is none.
Sorry if you expected some philosophical, life-altering perspective, but that's all I have.
It’s time we look at this (and the many other events happening in the past few years) as a call to action. I urge everyone to move forward past the "us versus them mentality" in regard to student safety.
Instead, we should approach this issue as an entirety and stand in a united front. It is our job as citizens, not Democrats or Republicans, to protect our youth. It is our job to stop the normalization of deaths due to public safety in schools.
Most importantly, it is our job to do something — anything. Call your local and state politicians and ask what they're doing to improve public safety in schools. Demand the change. You may not have any political or social influence and that’s completely fine because the most important movements start from the grassroots.