School Safety

All across the world, schools are facing major safety concerns. Ever since school shootings and other violent school crimes started as early as 1891, they have only gotten more intense since then. In 2022, there were over 50 school shootings that resulted in injuries or deaths, which was more than any year since the tragic Columbine shooting in 1999, showing that school shootings are on the rise. However, guns aren’t the only issue that schools have to worry about. Around 1970, the war on drugs started and student crime rates, drug usage, and concern from parents all increased exponentially. According to the CDC, 15% of high school students reported using illicit or injections drugs, and 14% of students reported misusing opioids. It has become evident that schools needed to stress the importance of safety in school, not only from gun violence but from drugs and other issues. 

While the federal government has not had success in reforming guns laws in the US, a number of states are taking matters into their own hands and doing their best to limit the amount of guns bought and adding more restrictions. According to an article posted on CNN, states like New Jersey, California, Connecticut, Florida, and various others have implemented laws that make an individual have to be 21 years of age to buy a gun. California, in particular, has been especially advocating for this. As a state, many residents wanted to pass a law stating that concealed firearms have to be banned in public areas. However, this idea was rejected as some thought that this law would go against the constitution, but this denial has been met with protests to fight for this law to be passed.

Often, a lack of legislation means school need to fend for themselves. Many schools have incorporated security guards into their district staff. Some schools are implementing rules to require clear backpacks; believing that clear backpacks would stop weapons, drugs, and other dangerous items from entering school. Other schools have metal detectors that students have to go through to get into their school. Anonymous tips and reporting systems have also been added to some schools, as studies have found that students are more likely to report something if they can ensure that they can still be anonymous. To add to this, the drug issue has recently been evolving and expanding rapidly. Vapes, marijuana, and cannabis being legal all lead to its availability being increasingly higher. Also, weight loss drugs have been gaining attention from many teenage girls around the world. About 1 in 10 teenage girls have been found to have been using potentially harmful substances to lose weight. Many suspect that these drugs have been rooted in other school issues, like student mental health, depression, and eating disorders. Although drug abuse is introduced as young as middle school, nicotine and other addictive drugs have made it harder for minors to stay away from it once they’ve tried it once. 

Despite there being an increase in crime rates and school violence, these issues have also opened many eyes to see how the school system is. With new safety precautions being added to many schools, one can expect these rates to go down.