Adam Valdman is a sophomore sports management major and writes “Chai" for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I took a minute during the end of finals week to truly sit down and reflect on what has occurred since Jan. 1, 2019. After much deliberation, I decided to wait until I got back home to write about it.
I decided to write about how as a student, I am scared.
I sit here in my bed typing this with my family in the other room, feeling extremely lucky after returning from college, but not for normal reasons like the fact that I passed my final exams and classes.
I feel lucky because I was not killed in a school shooting.
In 2019, students attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado, Savannah State University in Georgia, and many more were not.
I came home. According to The New York Times, four students did not come home, and 17 people including a staff member were wounded.
This didn’t become a problem in 2019. It occurred at an alarming rate in 2018, too. For example, Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 14 students and three staff members were killed. You can also look back as far as 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado where 12 students and one teacher were killed.
My heart hurts and mourns because students nowadays have to be "thankful" of coming home from school. Yes, school.
As students attending school, the things we should have to worry about are homework assignments, quizzes, tests, projects and arriving to school on time. I enjoy going to school to get an education, get away from any problems I might be dealing with at home, to see my friends and make new ones, but also returning home to tell my family about what I learned in class. We go to school to learn and prepare for our future, not to die before even having a chance to live it.
We shouldn’t have to worry about being shot at, because school shouldn’t be thought as a war zone. These shootings can be prevented, and it’s disheartening to see that not enough is being done.
Many gun regulations have been enacted since Parkland, such as red flag laws and prohibitions on bump stocks, but in my opinion these regulations aren’t enough because school shootings have continued to happen. I believe there needs to be an enactment of background checks to make sure that the gun is going to be used properly in the hands of the owner.
Lawmakers have also discussed the idea of arming teachers. In my opinion teachers should not be asked to get firearm training, because their responsibility and purpose is to educate us.
I believe that schools will become a place of fear instead of being a place of study; I already go to school in fear of a possible shooting occurring, and it would make me feel more unsafe than I already feel if my teacher were armed with a gun. Our normal fears of school are usually in relation to taking a hard test that we haven’t studied for, or having to present a project to the class by ourselves.
School is supposed to be a safe place; guns being in the classroom would take away the purpose of why the school system was created.
It’s time for the federal government to listen to its constituents: students. We have heard your call for prayer, but it's now time for legislation action. They need to make us as students feel safe to attend school. They chose to ignore and push the problem to the side, and it's now gotten worse.
The end of this problem should have been after Columbine, but especially after 20 children ages 6 and 7, and six adult staff members were killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This shooting in particular holds a place in my heart because it was one of the first moments that I became more aware of the problem involving gun violence in this country.
I’ll never forget seeing former President Barack Obama tear up on stage and plead for gun control after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. In response to his continuous pleas, congressional Republicans stood in the way of any meaningful gun-control legislation. Right then and there we could have prevented the shootings that would follow, but we didn’t.
There has already been 15 school shootings in 2019 as of May 9. Honestly, that number should be zero.
Now, it seems that school is becoming a war zone.
This shouldn't be looked at as a "political" issue; it’s a "bipartisan" issue. This affects everyone, not just one individual.
I never want to go through another experience of knowing kids my age, younger or older, were taken away from this world to early. As a generation we need to understand that the future of our kids is being created by the decisions we make today. Action needs to be taken to make sure our kids and theirs kids in the future can go to school with the feeling that they’re safe and don’t have to be worried of getting shot.
Most importantly, we need to make sure that students of tomorrow grow up knowing that school is not a war zone.