We Call BS!


Photo by AFP

On March 24,2018, in Washington,D.C. March for Our Lives took place with over 200,000 people attending. Source: www.CNN.com

By Carolina Soto, Staff Writer

From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook and most recently, Stoneman Douglas High school in Broward County, school shootings have traumatized students who walk in constant fear wondering if their school is next. We have seen it all in the most horrific endings, but we are now ready to demand change.


What is gun control?

     Gun control aims to restrict who can purchase firearms and what kinds of firearms should be sold. Some people believe we need more gun control, which would include background checks for buyers and banning assault rifles.

There are big disagreements about this issue. Some people believe every civilian should be able to own a gun due to the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms.

Others say that gun laws must change because guns are being purchased on a daily basis at gun shows and illegally online by people that are either not in the right mental state of health or underage.

Senior Lucia Galeano said, “The mentality around guns is the problem. People are so centered on guns that they forget what can happen if they fall into the wrong hands.”

Freshman Isaac Sanchez said, “People kill, guns just make sure of it. The politicians not concerned with human life are the problem, as well as the lack of assistance and awareness of the mentally ill. There’s not enough attention being provided to the problem until it’s too late.”

Sophomore Emma Alonso said guns are certainly not the only problem. “Laws need better restriction of age and background checks when it comes to buying military style weapons,” she said.


What can we do to prevent gun violence?

With politicians unlikely to act upon gun control, there are many other options that schools, parents, and communities can choose to prevent a tragedy. In schools, teaching social and emotional skills can help students prevent school violence. The more students can be more openly sociable, they will be able to connect with others and even see if any of their classmates need some help.

Hiring more experienced school counselors that specifically focus on only mental health, not just grades and graduation requirements, could also have great benefits to students. It will cost money, but it can really save a life just by being there to listen and let students out of their comfort zones to express their feelings without shame.

Counselor Ms. Blanco said, “Mental illness is something we don’t talk about. It has a shame label to it. One way a student can really seek help is by being absolutely honest and opening up about it.”

Communities together can make a big difference with just the help of one another by looking out for any oddness. One way that this can be achieved is by social media companies coming together to detect threats from accounts. Teenagers commonly use social media as a platform to express their feelings. If a possible school shooter is expressing homicidal threats and thoughts, these social media companies can put a stop to it by identifying who the person is and immediately alert a local law enforcement department.

Finding ways to listen to students and teachers at school who are very aware of threats that they are witnessing can make a huge difference and prevent a tragedy from happening. We students tend to find out a lot more about weapons entering in and out of school grounds than we could have imagined. Schools can even have a tip line for students to call or email so administrators and counselors can find out right away.

Many shooters in school shootings grow an obsession with firearms, just like the Stoneman Douglas High School shooter. People tend to ignore it, thinking it’s just a phase of growing up and all the teenage angst a teenager has. While the Second Amendment focuses only on the right of a citizen to have a firearm, when some people are openly taking pride in having obsessions with firearms and speaking about the desire to kill others, they should seriously be taken out to seek professional help, not as citizens with a constitutional right to own a firearm, but as people that can be a danger to other people’s lives.

However, taking possibly dangerous students out of school isn’t the end to the issue; it is really the beginning.  When these students are pushed out of school and thrown into the real world with no moral support and no idea on how to manage life and themselves, it can be a really big risk.

We as an educational system should provide these students with support and not leave them alone. They should be provided with an alternative school where they have the opportunity to receive mental health services. It must be acknowledged, however, the Stoneman Douglas shooter was provided with an alternative school, which shows that this doesn’t always help.


What are schools doing about it?

The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, returned from spring break to new school rules. They were instructed to go through security checkpoints, carry around their school ID, and use transparent backpacks for their personal items.

School ID’s, locking classroom doors, locking school gates and making uniform more mandatory than ever have also been added to the policy of new rules here at Miami High to protect our safety as students and staff members.

Although it is meant for our school safety, locking a classroom door isn’t going to prevent a school shooter from shooting up a classroom. The shooter isn’t going to knock during the whole situation. He or she will simply just shoot at the lock to easily get in.

Locking school gates during an active shooting won’t help but make the situation worse by trapping all of us inside the school with the shooter.

Making uniforms even more than ever mandatory won’t change a thing because with or without a uniform, any one from previous years that have attended our school can pass as a student when they simply wear a school uniform.

School ID’s, according to Principal Mr. Valdes, are meant for identification purposes and have become a district wide rule for all schools, yet it has no guarantee to protect us due to some students not cooperating and wearing it.

Mr. Valdes, however, says, “As long as students are working together when they see something and making sure they say something and cooperating with the new rules, there shouldn’t be a problem. “