By Tierra Harris | Web Editor-in-Chief
After the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, many Americans have begun to pose their opinions on gun control, mental health and school safety. The horrific event that took place has been labeled as one of the deadliest shootings in history.
Nineteen year-old Nikolas Cruz legally purchased an AR-15-style rifle and caused one of the deadliest school shootings in history. Cruz, who was expelled from Marjory Stoneman High, did suffer from mental disorders. Despite gun control being a hot topic, mental health awareness and hospitalization are also trending.
After the killing of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students decided to use their situation to make a change. Protesting quickly began afterwards and students rallied against military-style weapons for civilians. In the past, there was a ban on military weapons. Gun violence experts are saying that it’s time for the law to be put back into action.
Another event, killing one student and heavily injuring another took place on March 7 at an Alabama High School. The events are bringing even more emphasis on whether or not gun control is the problem.
After Trump’s proposal to allow teachers to be armed, there has been even more controversy from both students and members of administration.
At Avon High School, the recent events are affecting students and many have displayed their opinions about the situations. Student body President Madeline Garcia decided to arrange a walk out for all students to pay their respects to the 17 victims of the school shooting and take a stand against the possession of military-style weapons for the public.
“The walkout will be held on March 14th at 10 a.m., and we will be walking out the Commons door, door 33. We will be providing many posters and will have some speakers, but students are more than welcome to bring their own posters. For the walkout, we are not proposing a single solution,” Garcia said.
Although the walkout will be held at Avon High School, the movement is a widespread idea that has been mentioned at many different school throughout the country. Making the case about finding one particular solution to this problem is still in the making. Other students have similar and differing opinions about how society should handle these issues in the correct manner.
Seniors Drew Lewis and Hayden Czerwonky believe that armed teachers would be a good solution.
“The reason school shootings are so deadly and visceral is because there isn’t an immediate response, giving the attacker time to inflict damage on the powerless students and teachers,” Lewis said.
Czerwonky proposed a few pros and cons to the situation, but overall felt that the change is definitely more beneficial than detrimental.
“Schools would be much safer and not soft targets; they know no one can fight back, but they’ll think twice if a lot of the staff is armed,” Czerwonky said.
Senior Nick Waterfield said that he believes “students can feel much safer in the classroom” but there will be others who may not feel safe with an armed teacher. There are many pros to arming teachers, but there are also many cons present, as well.
Senior Candise Bowman believes that “there are so many things that can go wrong.”
” [Most schools] have police officers. Every one is well aware that police officers are armed… That never stopped those school shooters, did it?” Bowman said.
Senior David Elmore said that “more money will go into it than necessary” and prevention would involve more than just arming teachers.
“You’re not gonna be able to completely stop it,” Elmore said. “Metal detectors or bag checks for majority of schools are a good idea. Counselor updates with people just to see how they are doing would be an easy way to figure out who’s troubled.”
Whether or not teachers remain unarmed, there is still more than one problem within the equation. Society’s ideas and methods to properly diagnose and assist those battling mental health is also significant.
Some students have developed solutions that would help eventually prevent school shootings and how to tackle mental health in the correct manner.
“Any signs that a student is going to harm a school should be noticed and every action should be taken to prevent harm. Honestly we all need to treat each other better but we hear that too much and it goes through one ear and out the other.” Bowman said.
“I don’t think mental institutions are necessary, but if a family member or anyone is unstable than they should have help,” Elmore said.
Senior Jenna Ruiz said that overall, there should be closer relationships between students and teachers. With smaller student-teacher ratios, there would be more personality within a classroom and interactions wouldn’t feel so impersonal.
“Educating parents, teachers, doctors and counselors on how to protect youth during hard times, confusing situations and being able to recognize potentially dangerous situations,” Ruiz said. “This problem is much deeper rooted than just solving it with another firearm.”
Across America, many students, teachers and parents are trying to figure an accurate solution. With time and advocacy, a solution that will benefit everyone will come about. Within due time, focusing on matters that can be resolved is the most beneficial.
“No person should ever feel so ostracized that they what to hurt and kill others,” Lewis said.