The Oxford High School shooting in Michigan is the 29th school shooting in 2021. Four students were killed and seven were seriously injured.
There have been 22 school shootings since the beginning of this current school year starting around Aug. 1. However, the first school shooting to be heavily reported by news stations was the Oxford High School shooting.
America has become so used to the frequency of school shootings that we have become complacent. With the frequency and number of communities affected, why hasn’t there been any change?
We should implement better security measures in schools to reduce school shootings. To do this effectively the investment would have to be made by the community or with government help.
In Monroe County after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, the Monroe County Schools corporation implemented fire, tornado, shelter-in-place and lockdown drills. In the complete lockdown, the classroom doors are locked, the lights are turned off and no one can get in or out. A lockdown is effective in preventing people from getting into the building. However, if a shooter is already in a building because they are a student like the shooter at Oxford, having that lockdown is less effective.
Around half of school shootings are carried out by current or former students of the school. These shooters know the security measures of that school, and know ways around them.
School shootings cause post-traumatic stress symptoms for students and teachers directly involved, causing them to be anxious about their safety. The students from Oxford will probably never feel the same about school safety again.
A possible solution to preventing school shootings is installing metal detectors. Many say the addition of metal detectors would make schools feel prison-like. However, with the number of communities that have been affected by school shootings, this is a step we should consider taking.
An advantage of metal detectors is it may deter the violence that a school shooter is trying to commit. The presence of a metal detector in schools helps reduce the likelihood a student brings a gun into the school.
Another asset of metal detectors is they ease the minds of the teachers and students at the schools. If a school has a metal detector people will feel more comfortable and they won’t focus on feeling unsafe.
There are some potential drawbacks that come with installing metal detectors. Metal detectors are extremely expensive. Some school districts can’t afford to install these advanced security devices, so while this could be a potential solution for schools with a lot of funding, it would not work in some schools unless it was funded by the community or government.
For schools with multiple entrances, it costs more money to install metal detectors at every entrance and hire security officers to man these entrances. However, any student that has a metal gun could be detected upon their entrance. Spending more money to create better security in schools would be worth it to save lives.
Although this would prevent indoor shootings, outdoor shootings might become more common at schools, especially if schools can’t find an efficient system to make going through metal detectors as fast as possible.
Another potential solution to increase school security is installing door stop barricade devices like Nightlock. Nightlock is a cost effective solution for keeping people safe during hostile events. Oxford High School installed the locks after a law was passed to install barricade devices in schools for extra protection and many parents think these devices helped save children's lives.
Another solution that might be more effective would be to implement more locker or backpack searches in schools. In New York City schools that also have metal detectors installed, 57% of weapons were found without using scanning devices.
Searches are more successful in identifying weapons, but it can be difficult to find the time or resources to make this effective for all school districts.
To make our schools safer, investments need to be made to hire more security guards to conduct searches, either by the surrounding community or by through government funding.
Although this is a complicated issue, something needs to be done to lower the number of school shootings in America. Our country cannot bear any more kids dying.
Cassie Golden (she/her) is a sophomore studying psychology and counseling. She is involved in the Marching Hundred, Marching Hundred Student Organization and psychology club.