School Violence and Mental Health

Recent legislation to improve school safety not only involves active shooter drills and required training sessions for teachers, but also an expansion of the way schools and police scrutinize social media postings. Civil Libertarians fear that the latter provision takes us one step farther down the primrose path to a police state. However, I also know that things have changed from my high school days, when “school violence” meant a fight in the cafeteria.

I’m curious: if students were to draft legislation regarding school safety, what would they prioritize?

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14 Responses to School Violence and Mental Health

  1. Guillermo says:

    I must concur that having active shooting drills and simply training people for the event of a shooting is inefficient, as the shootings should be prevented in the first place. However, there are students who don’t like to be monitored in their social media endeavours. A solution to this is to create a small, invisible council in a school composed of students, and to give them the responsibility of monitoring the social media happenings of most of the school population. However, this method cannot cover all tracts of social media. A better idea is to jointly implement the council above and an anonymous survey where students can remark on social media happenings and violence online.

  2. Linda Arnoldus says:

    While it is important for children and teachers to be prepared for a threat against the safety of the school, there is clearly an underlying issue. We can debate over which victim is responsible for the shooting, or we can look at school shooters and ask why they are created. Healthy children with a support group and outlets for emotion do not become school shooters. The sad truth is that people are willing to argue about pointless legislation all day but won’t address the real issues- bullying, domestic violence, stigmatization, unavailability of therapy, etc. These are the issues we should be talking about.

  3. Khytavia Fleming says:

    I agree that entire school staffs and students should be trained on how to deal with active shooters. However, there should also be extra measures taken towards things ike seminars, more student counsel meetings,etc that could possibly prevent a school shooting from happening. In the world we live in today, everyone should be on alert for anything suspicious. We, as students, teachers, and staffs, have to not only look out for ourselves but for others as well. Although having active shooter drills is great and all that, I believe it would be even greater if the school itself could stop a plan shooting from happening before it takes place.

  4. Will says:

    I personally think that it’s true that not enough people know what to do if an intruder does show up during the school day. How many students know how to take a gun from someone, how many know the probability that if someone has a gun that they will actually shoot, how many know what to do when their safety is in their own hands. Yes social media should policed more, that’s a given, but I think that a way to cut down the death toll from these occurances is by focusing on how each and every man, woman, and child, should be able to handle themselves in these kind of situations.

  5. Catherine Li says:

    As the problems of shootings become increasingly prevalent in our society, almost to the point where it is just something we as students in America accept, the importance of raising awareness to student mental health and gun control. I support the recent legislation to improve school safety to include active shooter drills, required training sessions, and expand the ways schools and police social media postings. However, I would support more legislation for the deeper root of the problem. The stress and pressure from school, family, social media, their environment can be a lot for a student to handle. I believe students should focus on relieving stress by actively helping their mental health first. Schools should also be finding ways to relieve stress from schoolwork because almost every student I know has been or is stressed from too much work. Other than that, I would want more emphasis on making sure students and teachers know these drills, and they are fully prepared to be able to protect themselves if the scenario would ever happen.

  6. C says:

    Given how many mass and school shootings have occurred in recent years, I would prioritize intruder and shooter drills, but also seminars on how to respond in that given situation and how to find help for the traumas afterwards. Right now, I barely know what to do if an intruder comes in and simply roams the halls, but if you place that intruder in front of me, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what to do. Besides, that is knowledge that may find itself useful well past high school as mass shootings outside of school appear just as common.

  7. X says:

    Currently, active shooters are one of the biggest issues with violence and safety. Drills are very important. I agree with the recent legislation of adding active shooter drills to the annual practices of weather drills. Mental health is very important in teenage development. Awareness of those surrounding you helps with detecting early mental illness. When drafting legislation for school safety, students would want to feel protected with knowledgeable teachers and restrictions set in terms of what can and cannot be brought into school.

  8. random says:

    I think that having shooter drills and training for teachers a good step for schools to take. However, monitoring social media more closely will probably not do much to help. If someone wants to shoot people at school, not posting about it on social media will not stop them. It is so easy to misinterpret things on social media. People could think that someone wants to cause harm to themselves or others when in fact they don’t and vice versa. Anonymous reporting is also something that I think students would not use a lot, or report someone that does not need to be reported. I think the best way of preventing a school shooting would be to make it as difficult as possible for someone to bring a weapon into an academic building/on campus. In MSMS’s case, we have the ID cards to get inside buildings but perhaps implementing a system where bags have to be put through a scanner. Of course that could cause problems like the machine being expensive or making people late to class, but it is for the safety of the students. I don’t know the best way to help prevent school violence, but I definitely think more security should be implemented.

  9. Geneva Hamilton says:

    I agree with some of the previous replies. Schools should raise mental health awareness among students. In my opinion, faculty, especially councilors, should be more open to conversations with students about their emotional well being. This could just be saying, “I am here if you need to talk.” Having an open environment would relieve some tension within the student body. Also, students should be educated on what to report and signs of a dangerous peer. As far as a safety plan is concerned, I feel like my school did a good job of having periodic drills each quarter. Safety plans should be known by every student at all times.

  10. Alyssa says:

    I feel as if we should take more preventative measures and listen to the warning signs. There are many things that teachers and students alike should be trained in. There are things that peers may hear that the teachers and staff might not.

  11. anonymous says:

    I think awareness of what to do if a school shooter enters is very important, but even more importantly I think that students should be aware of why people have the desire to become a school shooter. This way, students could recognize someone who may be motivated to commit a school shooting and take steps to preventing this from happening. Whether this be befriending them or even just referring them to a counselor, we as the student body should be educated on how to prevent our fellow students from being driven to commit such acts.

  12. KT says:

    I think that schools should put more priority on educating their students on what to do should there ever be an active shooter. It’s hard for some students to be fully aware of the true likelihood of an active shooter. There are also things that could lessen the chance of an active like a better mental health guidance and awareness. There’s a video I’m sure most of you have seen that shows a blossoming relationship overshadowing the signs of a school shooter. There are cases where the signs are not taken as seriously as they should. I believe that there needs to more education of the subject.

  13. Erin says:

    Personally, I think that the students should know more about the active shooter drills and take things more seriously. Most people at MSMS are serious about drills, but people at my old school would joke around during active shooter drills, tornado/hurricane warnings, lockdowns, and fire drills. Most students have absolutely no clue what to do in case an active shooter enters the school, so reviewing the rules and what to do/not to do would be a good idea. If I was in charge of drafting legislation, those things would be what I would choose.

  14. M says:

    If I were in charge of drafting legislation, I would prioritize student awareness. Teaching teachers (lol) is important and all, but making sure the students are aware of whats going on is crucial. As a senior less than 100 days away from graduation, I’m still not 100% sure what to do during an intruder drill. Not only is being informed important, but emphasis on mental health. School violence is a scary topic, but it is a more preventable issue

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