Imagine waking up one day and looking through your phone to see what’s a popular story going around. You think that it will be something funny to see or hear what the new funny video that's going around is, but then to find out that innocent children got killed. Then later in the week, you find out that no one is doing anything to prevent these issues that will start to normalize if no one does anything.
I remember how my heart dropped into my stomach and tears pricked in my eyes when I heard 17 people had died in ANOTHER school shooting. I remembered how I started to shake as tears rushed out of my eyes as I pictured someone walking into school and taking the lives of innocent people. I could hear the screams and echoes throughout the school as if I was there. The pain that the students and teachers had made my heart throb.
I watched the tv and look at social media to see if there were any updates on how they are going to prevent school shoots…. Nothing. No better background checks for people to buy a gun, no mental illness awareness, no nothing. Now, we students have to work for our safety, for our education, for our lives. We are just kids; we haven’t even grown up but now we are witnessing our friends die. I don’t understand why we have to take on the world when we have adults to take care of us until we are grown enough. Now, in order to be heard, we need to leave school and protest. We need to act like adults so we get the safety that should already be given to us. Now, some students and teachers are scared that coming to school will be the last place they go.
Now, when I sit in class and hear the intercom start with a ding my body freezes and my anxiety takes over. My brain goes to what if they are about to announce a lockdown. My eyes scan the door and then the window to measure how far from the ground the window is. Who will die? Is another thought that runs over my mind. All those thoughts happen between the ding and the first word that is spoken over the intercom.
Now, I lay awake at night listening to my fan blowing and wondering when justice will be served to the families that have lost someone or to students and teachers that are afraid that one day at school will be their last day. I wonder how my family would feel if I was shot because principals ignore mental health signs or generally don’t care about the safety of their students and teachers. I close my eyes now and have nightmares about my friends dying in front of me and feeling helpless.
Imagine hearing that someone that has talked about shooting the school up, killing someone they are mad at or saying they want to kill themselves. Then hearing that the people in charge won’t do anything about it. Suspend them? Doesn’t do any justice, you are just letting them leave and mentally get worse. Then what happens, they come back and get mad, they threaten to shoot someone or themselves, or actually act upon the actions they threatened about? This is where our principals and school boards are to blame for not thinking about our lives.
I sit in class and draw and think how we are their future, but with guns firing at students that could have been a scientist or have found the cure for cancer, there is no hopeful future. I sit and wonder when the school board, federal and state lawmakers and the President will step up and start protecting us.
School is mandatory while being shot and killed at school isn’t. We have to go to school to learn math, scientist, English, language, and many more subjects. We aren’t made to go to school to watch a massacre of our friends and teachers.
When will I and others finally feel safe in school? When will school shootings be very rare and not one every other month? When will I stop having nightmares about being taken out of this world by a gun while doing work? How long will it take for me not to freeze up when announcements start?