Soaring Gun Violence in Schools – Tips for Prevention for Parents
Increasing Concerns About Copycat Shooters
DATE 18-03-06 02:19
글쓴이 : 어드민      
Translated by Alex Kim | News Korea


After the mass shooting which took the lives of 17 people in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month, schools across the nation reported multiple threats involving firearms. Safety concerns are on the rise amongst parents and students.


The mass shooting at Parkland, Florida happened only 3 months after the massacre at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas which left 26 people dead. As the perpetrator of the Parkland shooting was identified as an expelled former student, people are questioning school safety in the states.


Rising Firearm Threats Nationwide

Crime experts are concerned about the possibilities of copycat shooting and local law enforcements are raising awareness and sharing preventative measures through various social media platforms.


DFW metroplex is not an exception to these threats. On Thursday, February 15th, 3 students were arrested at 3 North Texas High Schools (Marcus High School, Plano West High School, South Garland High School) for alleged possession of firearms and/or alleged threats involving firearms.


Two of the students were arrested for possession of a firearm; there was no discharge. The third student was arrested on felony charges for possession of illegal marijuana and a firearm; the serial number had been removed from the student’s gun and the officials are currently investigating the gun and its origin.


A middle school student from Arlington was arrested for making a verbal threat in school on February 15th and two students from Weatherford and Grand Prairie were arrested after making a threat on social media on February 27th. The accused claimed that their social media posts carried no malevolent intention, but the local law enforcement said they take every form of threat seriously.


According to a report by Fox News, Nutley School District in New Jersey closed all schools on February 16th due to a threat made in an Instagram video. The video contained photos of Nutley High School and students in a classroom, a song suggesting mass shooting, and footages of teens firing a handgun and rifle. Nutley parents are demanding armed security officers and metal detectors in schools after the threat.


On Wednesday, February 27th, Denton County Sheriff (Sheriff Tracy Murphree) sent a memo to his deputies to take immediate actions in an active shooter situation. "All commissioned Deputies if you respond to an active shooter, you are expected to take immediate action,” Murphree wrote, "we go in to engage and stop the shooter and save lives.”


Teens Voice for Gun Control

Students around the country are emerging as the strongest voice for gun control. The teens born after the year 1999 are often referred to as a “mass shooting generation”. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, a minimum of one school shooting took place each year.


Teens are using #menext? on various social media platforms and making pleas for gun control. They are criticizing the system that allows a pathway for teens who cannot even purchase alcohol to purchase a gun and asking people of the nation to be a part of change. The survivors of the Florida school shooting are currently organizing a national march for gun control in Washington on Saturday, March 24th.


On Wednesday, February 21st, President Trump met with students and parents from Stoneman Douglas High School and called for arming the teachers. Some school districts are considering to place retired police officers or veterans in schools.


Through the rising turmoil of gun violence and the need for administration’s immediate actions, parents shiver in fear of their children’s safety at school.

From Left to Right: Mija Chang, LPC-S; Karen Lee, Principal of Skaggs Elementary; Dr. Jung-woong Bang, Former Fort Worth School Administrator

Schools Strengthening Secure and Lockdown Procedures

Principal Karen Lee of Skaggs Elementary School in Plano ISD announced that routine gun violence prevention programs and lockdown drills are in place and the education administration is receiving intensive training for an active shooter situation.


“Safety programs and lockdown procedures vary by schools,” said Principal Lee, “Skaggs Elementary School is taking extra measures to ensure the safety of students.” Lee added, “We reinforced entry doors and lock systems to keep intruders out, improved surveillance and communication systems both within our school and schools in proximity, placed panic buttons under the desks of our administrative staffs, and set up and emergency hotline.”


According to Lee, all teachers and staffs receive training for an active shooter situation within two weeks after school starts.


“Lockdown drill” is an emergency protocol to prevent students from danger in an active shooter situation by securing all possible entries within a short time frame and evacuating to safety.


Psychological Effects of Gun Violence

The National Association of School Psychologists emphasized the importance of providing guidelines for students and parents affected by the shootings and helping students and parents in an effective communication.


According to NASP, it is crucial to provide children, children in elementary schools in particular, the assurance of safety in their homes and schools while reminding them that there are adults to protect them. Schools, communities, and families must take a methodical approach in communicating with teens and inform them of procedures that are taking place to keep them safe.


Experts say that students may not actively express their feelings and thought processes after a tragedy, but that does not indicate an absence of distraught. Parents need to initiate a civil conversation and help students discuss their feelings.


Mi-ja Chang (LPC-S), Korean-American licensed professional counselor in Texas, commented, “Parents often tell their kids not to be bothered by bullies and tell them, ‘it’ll all pass.’” Chang added, “Students must learn to speak out against bullying and officially inform the school of circumstances.”


“Each school has a counselor where a troubled student can express their concerns,” said Chang, “schools will provide other means of counseling services to students if deemed necessary.”


NASP urges parents to be observant of their children’s daily routines and pay attention to any irregularity in emotions, behaviors, eating habits, and sleep patterns.


Chang said, “If a child displays a drastic behavioral change, insists to be left alone, and becomes abnormally silent and secretive, parents’ urgent attention is required.”


Building and Strengthening Students’ Characters

Former Fort Worth School Administrator, Dr. Jung-woong Bang, inferred that the current state of school violence is a byproduct of a poor social structure and an absence of character education.


Bang commented on a current state of social structure, “The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to bear arms and any means of gun control is deemed unconstitutional despite the increasing occurrences of gun-related deaths.” Bang added, “When our education system fails to teach our students the sanctity of life and our society places a great emphasis on ‘survival of the fittest’ way of life, the ‘weak’ will detonate bottled up emotions.”


“The digital culture is enabling the teen’s hyperindividualism which leads teens to have no regard to society,” said Bang, “a development of teens’ morals and values has a direct correlation to their family social environments.”

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