Gun Violence in schools: How does Peninsula feel?


Every morning roughly 1,400 Peninsula High School students will be attending class with the intent of learning. But with recent events, These students have to attend class with the fear of a possible school shooting happening at any minute throughout their day. No longer are high school students allowed to only focus on their education, now their safety as well. With 7 hours of learning, multiple hours of homework, sports and clubs, Home and social lives, the last thing on a high schooler’s mind shouldn’t be whether or not they will remain in a safe environment when at school. With many differing ideologies on how this problem should be solved, the solution is almost limitless. So where do the people at Peninsula High School stand?

As said before, safety is the main issue at play. So how do the students feel? Mercedes Newton, a Senior at Peninsula High School felt that “there really is nothing the school district can do to solve it, rather there are measures the school district can do to prevent it.” Newton felt that keeping schools as gun free zones were absolutely crucial and that “adding more guns to the problem would do nothing to solve it.”

Freshmen Lauren Trivette felt that “arming teachers would make the problem a lot worse and there’s a ton of other things to do instead. Just like security cameras and more security guards, in general, would help.” Sophomore Isaiah Hardy felt drastically different about the solution. Hardy states “teachers who are trained and understand what it is that they’re doing should be able to go school with there firearm. With the proper discretion and training schools would be significantly safer.”

As important as students’ opinions may be, ultimately it is the security officers on campus who are directly responsible for the protection of the students attending. So the question of what to do and how to solve this problem was posed to Security Specialist Dawnee Gossage and Officer Ray Readwin, in which they both strongly agree on one major solution, communication between students and staff. They both expressed how crucial it is for students to come to them with any possible concerns. Officer Ray states “A huge cog in the security system is a communication, without it we aren’t able to do our jobs effectively.” Officer Ray says that it’s easily one of the strongest qualities of our community which is exactly that, communication. But when asked about alternative methods of security on campus, both agreed that it would be an extremely large roadblock to get over to even begin implementing such methods. Officer Ray feels that “individually all of those methods could help towards the problem, but not one of them, without a change in culture could fix the entire issue.”

There have been many people saying that teachers should conceal carry but without asking teachers first, how will we know if they agree or disagree with that idea? Mr. Kendal is one of the many teachers on campus with strong an opinion regarding this issue; “I am not comfortable with my fellow co-workers having weapons, whether or not they have received professional training . . . I don’t think that’s a reasonable solution to the problem at hand.” The safety of staff and students is extremely important to maintain a stable learning environment. Many schools across America are taking action to prevent shootings from occurring. Actions such as clear backpacks, Stoneman Douglas students must wear a clear backpack so that teachers and students can see if there is anything potentially dangerous in their bags. In other schools, they’ve brought in more counselors in hopes that students will come to them first before taking drastic measures.

So what are the solutions? That answer can vary, for there is no one good solution. There is not one solution to this problem, rather many different steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of all of us students. Whatever our dreams may entail, we’ll never accomplish anything if we are gunned down in what’s supposed to be our safe haven. This is a huge problem within the United States and one that must be talked about and analyzed to its fullest extent. This includes the opinions of students from all backgrounds and demographics, the teachers who are tasked with our education and safety and the security officers who spend their days protecting students. Without communication, no real effective change can be implemented to protect us or the following generations of students who may potentially be exposed to the same threat we are today. So, in conclusion, the most effective way to keep us safe, is to talk about it.