Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 5:37:58 PM
Was I late? The class was near empty with only a handful of people sitting on desks or gossiping. I blinked; thinking that when my eyelids opened my classmates would be there, but they were not.
Kenny was there, but not Alexis. Mary-Grace was up front, but Emily O was missing from her seat in the back of the class. I brushed my bangs out of my eyes and shrugged to myself. I guess I could not blame them. If you think your life is at stake, you have the perfect reason to not come to school.
Two days before we had received a letter from the principal. It had been a warning. Threats of a shooting were running through the hallways just a week after the one in Connecticut. Students wanted to bring their guns and shoot the people how had made fun of them or stolen their girl or boyfriend.
The administration had assured us that nothing would happen, but no one could stop the worried looks students flashed to one another or their flinching at loud noises and shadows of people walking down the hall.
We were scared.
I walked to my desk and sank into my seat. As I stared at the Spanish conjugations Senora Rogers was writing on the board, a thought popped into my head.
“I could die today.”
No shooting happened that day, but only 45 percent of my school’s student body came to school. Our bustling high school of 2,000 students became a ghost town with empty halls and quiet classrooms.
I had never been more scared for my own safety, as well as that of others, while at school that day.
We, as a community, need to keep students from having to feel this fear ever again. Schools are a place to learn and create, but they are also a place of safety and sanctuary.
For some of my friends, school is where they go to escape the beatings of a parent or the stomachs that rumble at the sight of an empty dinner table. These institutions of learning provide a place that children and teens can be nurtured and grow, but if they have to cower in fear when an office assistant passes by their classroom door on his or her way to deliver a note because they think that the person is going to pull out a gun, they will not grow and certainly not learn.
Some people think we need to control guns more. Others think we need mental screenings or remove violence from video games. The way to decrease the number of shootings though is not too ban weapons and taken violence out of life.
To do this, we have to teach people the value of life. If you teach love, rather than hate there will be no desire to press a gun to a person’s chest. Do not take away the weapons of destruction, but take away the motivation of it.