The New Normal

The normalizing of school shootings in our country continues to be a problem

We+constantly+read+about+the+final+text+messages+between+students+and+parents.++It%27s+not+normal+and+it+must+stop.+
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The New Normal

We constantly read about the final text messages between students and parents.  It's not normal and it must stop.

We constantly read about the final text messages between students and parents. It's not normal and it must stop.

AshLynn Harrison

We constantly read about the final text messages between students and parents. It's not normal and it must stop.

AshLynn Harrison

AshLynn Harrison

We constantly read about the final text messages between students and parents. It's not normal and it must stop.

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I remember sitting in my room watching YouTube videos one day as any bored teenager would when a completely unrelated video popped up in my suggestions. I clicked on the video because I knew very little about the topic and decided it was time to instead stop ignoring the tragic truths of society, but to finally accept it. The title of that video was called “Haunted by Columbine.”

The name should sound familiar, but if it doesn’t, Columbine High School is a school in Columbine, Colorado, where two twelfth grade students opened fire on their peers and teachers on the date of April 20, 1999. Thirteen people were killed in this devastating event; twelve students and one teacher. Hearing the chilling stories of everyone affected has brought tears to my eyes and pain to my heart. But back then everyone assumed this was just a horrific event that would never happen again. Little did they know, it was only just the beginning. 

There have been over 50 combined school shootings in the U.S. so far in the years 2018 and 2019. I know what you must be thinking, “I’ll be fine; stuff like that would never happen here; no one at my school would do something that awful.” What do you think the students at Stoneman Douglas High School thought? Or Santa Fe High School? How about the students at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California?

It just as easily could have been the NAI that so many of us consider our home away from home. The place we are at 180 days a school year for hours on end. Feeling the type of fear all of the students at Saugus High School must have felt, is something a high school student should never have to feel”

On Thursday, November 14, 2019, a 16-year-old boy shot 5 of his peers at Saugus High School. In this shooting, a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were killed.

Just like North Allegheny Intermediate, Saugus High School has the same safety precautions: a resource officer, supervision of everyone who enters the school, and many security cameras. It just as easily could have been the NAI that so many of us consider our home away from home. The place we are at 180 days a school year for hours on end. Feeling the type of fear all of the students at Saugus High School must have felt, is something a high school student should never have to feel. But in a couple of days from now, it won’t even matter. 

These school shootings have become so familiar to us that when they happen they’re being dismissed and ignored faster than the last. When I got home and saw the news that the Saugus High School experienced a shooting, I wasn’t even surprised. I just immediately felt upset. Upset for the families, the victims, and the whole Saugus student body. I feel sick to my stomach every time I see on the news that there has been another school shooting. It’s heart-wrenching to think that young people dying has become such a regular occurrence, that it doesn’t even shock anyone anymore. Instead of feeling shocked and confused as to how this has happened, we just feel sad and upset that this, is the new normal. This horrific thing is becoming more and more common to us. We have begun to go numb to the fact that children and teenagers in America are dying in a place that, years ago, would be considered one of the safest places for a kid to be. Just imagine if it were you and your friends running for your life, or if it were you and the boy who sits behind you in math that was hiding in the back closet of your classroom.

Have you ever woken up on a regular Thursday morning, and as you were getting ready for the day, already started looking forward to the moment that you would be able to come home and just be stress-free? Two Saugus High students never even made it home on November 14th. The sad part is, they aren’t the only ones. It’s tragic that we live in a world today where going to school brings fear to kids and parents all across America.

Kids should be worried about tests, missed homework assignments, or whether the boy they have been crushing on likes them or not. What kids shouldn’t be worried about is someone bringing harm to them, to their teachers, or their friends. Parents are worried about sending their children to school because they know that at this point, there is a possibility that watching them walk out the door in the morning could be the last time they see them alive. 

The purpose of this isn’t to go on about gun control or what we are doing wrong. But simply to bring awareness to the fact that this is all happening and you never know if your school could be next. So hug your family a little tighter tonight and tell your friends how much you appreciate them because in a blink of an eye and the snap of a finger we could be facing society’s new normal.