Students and teacher speak out on gun violence

Supporters hold up signs during the March for our Lives protest in Laredo on March 24.

The Magnet Tribune: Kayla Gonzalez

Supporters hold up signs during the March for our Lives protest in Laredo on March 24.

Irene Alegria, Staff Writer

According to TIME magazine, there have been 17 school shootings in the year 2018 alone.

As a result, tensions in the country are high as parents and students alike want something to be done in order to prevent such tragedies from occurring.

When asked about whether as students they feel safe in their schools, Jasmine Cantu, a junior attending J.W. Nixon High School stated, “We live in a society where gun violence is common and where it’s easy to get a hold on a gun. And just hearing people screaming down the halls I’m scared that one day those screams are going to be happening because someone is shooting up the school. If attending school makes me fear for my life I don’t see the point in going.”

Students all over the country have rallied together in hopes to do something that seems to be a big problem.

A March for Our Lives event on March 24 in Laredo to raise awareness of gun violence.

However, not many students were aware of this until the day of the event.

“I was not aware that there was a March of Our Lives event here in Laredo. The fact that they do not put attention to these types of events shows how much this city cares. I feel they should put more light on events like this to give students a voice on this matter,” Cantu said. “If we as students fear for our lives attending classes then we should be made more aware of such events that shed light on those topics.”

A lot can go through the minds of students and even staff when they see people their age being shot in a place in which they are supposed to feel safe and protected in.

“I feel that I am as safe as the educational budget allows. Different schools and districts in a variety of states have done what they could, some need more. I feel that more can be done for the safety of the teachers, staff, and students. The line gets drawn between safety and paranoia because the walls have already been breached and now we learn to prepare. It’s hard not to let fear paralyze you,” Cynthia Bernal, a teacher at J.W. Nixon High School, said.

With a large amount of media coverage these tragedies get it seems very little is done to actually prevent them from happening again.

“The loss of such young lives, my heart breaks for all the mothers, the parents and guardians of those young lives. How could this have been avoided? I pray for those who lost a loved one, hoping that they get justice and closure so that they can heal and move forward,” Bernal added.

According to The Washington Post, The National Association of School Psychologists said this at the annual meeting, “There are many dangers in emphasizing or repeatedly recounting details of a crisis, particularly in cases involving personal loss or suffering of children.”

When asked how she feels when seeing media coverage on these tragedies, Suzana Perez, junior attending Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts, added, “I think guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Many schools have taken new what they expect to be “resolutions” to prevent these tragedies from happening again. One being issuing students clear backpacks.

Parkland students express that having to use transparent backpacks is a violation of their privacy, rather than do something about the very laws that allow people to purchase automatic weapons simply because they are at a certain age.

“I would personally hate that (clear backpacks), that really does sound like they are prisoners of some sort. I understand that the school is trying to take precaution, but there are other ways,” Perez said.

Bernal added, “Yes, counseling for students having difficulty in/out school, not just in academics. It can foster a more open line of communication between school officials and students. Hire safety experts when building or renovating a campus to better assist the various measures of security. Hire better security with more qualifications and/or licenses. Involve the students in engaging activities in the classroom so that they can feel safe in their learning environment, and subsequently develop a line of communication with their teacher. They hear and see more than most, and yet the students are often scared of reporting rumor or gossip, or they brush it off.”

As of now, Laredo Independent School District does not have such policies in place.

Sarah Chadwick, a student attending Stoneman Douglas High School, told CNN, “I never thought something like this would happen, especially in Parkland, Florida. We’re known or being one of the safest cities in Florida.”

The topic of mental illness is brought up when discussing school shooting events.

The mental state in which the shooter had during the time of the event is brought up and in a way is used to defend them or simply something people try to use to make sense of the tragedy that occurred.

“A mass shooting is so disturbing, so irrational, and horrifying, people want to know why it happened, and mental illness is the perfect master explanation,” Jeffrey Swanson, professor in psychiatry at Duke University, told Fox News.