The right to live without fear


Mary Miller, Opinion writer

About 25 of us girls stand either haphazardly around the field or in the line to kick during our game of kickball, attempting to pretend as if we actually care about the game we were beginning to play.

Though many of us were grumpy with the looming reality that our turn to kick would soon arrive, we still cracked light-hearted jokes as typical high schoolers do.

The first person hadn’t even kicked yet when our coach told us to drop everything and leave.

Questions and worries filled the air as we were ushered into the softball field house.

Shortly thereafter, we were informed that a soft lock-down had been put in place, but it was unconfirmed whether it was just a drill.

Just a safety procedure.

Just an anxiety-inducing activity to prepare us for the possible events that could happen in our ‘evolved’ world.

Some panicked.

Some laughed and screamed as though this procedure was meant to amuse them.

Some, like me, stayed silent and hoped that nothing would come of this.

While we were presumably safe, it was not a drill.

It was not just a safety procedure.

We were put on a soft lock-down when a possible threat was imposed by an escaped criminal, but not a year later when there was a gun in the very walls of our own school.

Sure, the gun was unloaded, but how can anyone be positive that there wasn’t ammunition in the hands of a possible accomplice?

In the two years that our school has been open, we have not once had a hard lock-down drill.

In this current school year alone, we have had a gun in our school, threats made towards theatre productions, and multiple “non-credible threats”.

Last October, our school was going to start a new event called the haunted auditorium but was forced to cancel both nights due to graffiti gun threats made in some bathroom stalls.

Last November, an unloaded gun was brought into our school by one of our students. They wanted to  “show their classmates” the gun, as though a gun is some harmless, flashy accessory to be made light of.

“We want to reassure you that the safety of our students and staff is always of the utmost importance and at no time was anyone in danger at school today. We met with students involved individually, gathered information and reaffirmed to each of them that this type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated.”

Bringing a gun to school is not just reckless.

Bringing a gun to school is not just something that can simply be put into a box and locked away in a drawer because the gun was not loaded.

Bringing a gun to school can and has proved time and time again to be lethal, and our safety should always be the first thing thought of.

While it is the job of our school to keep us safe, it is also in the hands of our legislature.

I don’t feel safe in my own country anymore, let alone my own high school.

Our country is doing nothing to try and prevent the violence that is taking place in our schools and killing our children.

At anywhere from 14-18 years old we should not have to walk into our school and fear for our lives every day due to the massive amount of school shootings across America, along with the lack of protection that many of us feel within our school.

The parkland kids are just that, kids.

These teenagers should not have had to watch their peers, friends, family, and loved ones die right before their very eyes because lawmakers, as well as citizens in America, have decided to turn the other cheek to gun-related violence.

Arming our teachers is not the solution, as it has already proved clear to some of the schools who have unfortunately decided to take that route, as well as face its consequences.

Our teachers do not come to school every day to be our police officers, our security guards, or our protectors. They are here to share the knowledge that they have with us and prepare us for life outside of high school.

We should not have to walk into school everyday viewing our school’s staff as our only protection.

On April 20th, I encourage you all to take part in the nationwide walkout against gun violence.

Our lives should be more important than our right to bear arms.