Shootings like the November 30th at Oxford High School in Michigan are not uncommon in the United States. The Oxford gunman killed four students and wounded seven others.
Education week sense School shootings. 31 shootings were found that year, in which there was at least one death. ONE Washington Post examination found that more than 278,000 high school students have experienced gun violence since the April 1999 Columbine High School shooting.
School officials, lawmakers, and others are trying different ways to prevent school shootings or reduce the number of deaths. Many schools practice “active shooter” drill“, Which should prepare students and employees for a real event. Other schools use police officers in and around their buildings.
In Oxford, the shooter’s parents are charged with a crime related to the murders.
Karen McDonald is the head of Oxford County Prosecutor. She argues that James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of shooter Ethan Crumbley, could have prevented the attack.
“We should all watch the events that led to this terrible event,” McDonald said on American television. “And as a community, as a school, as a nation, you talk about what we could have done differently so that it doesn’t happen.”
On November 30, a teacher found a slip of paper Ethan had written with a drawing of a pistol and the message, “Thoughts don’t stop. Help me. “After meeting Crumbley and his parents, school officials thought he was no risk to other students and could return to class. The parents also declined a request to bring him home for the day.
Later that day, Crumbley opened fire on fellow students with a gun his father had given him four days earlier.
Oxford school officials are also being investigated to see if their actions could have stopped the shooter. Two legal actions were taken against the Michigan school district on Thursday for allowing the shooter to stay in school after showing signs of very worrying behavior.
Arms Control Advocates I hope the charges against the Crumbley parents show ways to deal with other school shootings.
Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization that supports gun control efforts. she wrote in The Washington Post that children and schoolchildren have no access to weapons. She believes the Crumbleys charges will force all gun parents to consider additional security measures.
Oxford High School had put in place a lot of security. Watts wrote, “However, all of these measures were not enough to stop a school shootout because the student still had access to a gun at home.”
Everytown for Gun Safety organization says 5.4 million children in the United States live with a gun in a house.
Active shooter exercises
Active shooter exercises are common in American schools. During the exercises, students practice how to react when a shooter enters the school. Students are taught to lock classroom doors, turn off lights, sit on the floor, and be quiet.
Oxford County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the exercises “saved lives” at Oxford High.
A Washington Post report found that 4 million students completed active shooter exercises in 2018. However, critics say these exercises can traumatize Children.
David Riedman works for the National Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He’s studying school shootings. He said The Washington Post that the Oxford drills saved lives, but he believes very realistic shooter drills are not required.
Gun Safety Laws
Research has shown that more than half of gun owners do not lock their guns.
Some schools have started sending letters to parents telling them how to keep a gun safe. A school system in Los Angeles requires parents to sign a gun safety notice. The Clark County’s school system in Nevada does something similar.
Maddie Ahmadi is a Vermont high school student who tried to get her school to send a letter to parents about the safe storage of guns home.
she told Education week that it’s a security issue, not a political issue.
“I don’t tell anyone to stop hunting, and I don’t tell anyone to give up their weapon; I tell them to keep them safe so we can prevent that from happening tragedies like what happened in Oxford, ”she said.
I am Dan Novak.
And I’m Caty Weaver.
Dan Novak wrote this story with additional coverage from The Associated Press, EducationWeek, and The Washington Post. Susan Shand was the editor.
Words in this story
track – V. track and find, especially by looking at evidence
Drill – n. a physical or mental activity that is done repeatedly to learn, become more skilled, etc.
Prosecutor – n. an attorney who represents the side of a court case in which a person is accused of a crime and who seeks to prove the person’s guilt
advocate – n. a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy
traumatize – V. lead to a great deal of excitement, which often leads to serious emotional problems
tragedy – n. a very bad event that causes great sadness and often brings with it the death of someone