School shootings have become a common occurrence in recent days and a major cause of concern among citizens worldwide, especially in the USA, where the problem is most rampant. The USA is among the countries in the world that grant its citizens the right to own arms, and while the measure could be effective at helping the citizens protect their property in the current era marked by widespread violence and terror threats, guns also pose a new risk for the country – unlawful shootings. The issue gets even more severe when the shootings occur on school grounds, as the incidents make everyone in the school’s fraternity, including the young students, teachers, and the rest of the subordinate staff.
To put the issue in perspective, it is worthwhile to note the number of school shootings that have plagued America in 2022 alone. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, which has been tracking school shootings since 2013, there have been at least 113 incidents of gunfire in school environments, with 41 of the cases resulting in deaths (Everytown Research & Policy, 2022). Apart from the loss of life and injuries that the shootings cause, the experience is also traumatizing to those who witness the happenings, with a good number remaining scarred for life and suffering post-traumatic disorders, which adversely affect their academic progress (DIAZ, 2022). The shootings are a major deterrent to school safety and the well-being of students, hence demanding immediate intervention and mitigation strategies.
In most cases, the perpetrators of the school shootings are the students themselves, with rogue elements in the school system acting out by bringing guns to schools and risking the safety of fellow students. The majority of the crime perpetrators are children from troublesome backgrounds where they’ve been exposed to episodes of violence, both at home and in their communities. The shooting incidents reveal that the majority of the schools affected have a high proportion of students of color, which could result from the student’s home environment (Everytown Research & Policy, 2022). Therefore, the proposed school safety measures target the affected demographic to reduce their vulnerability to gun violence involvement, both in school and in their communities.
The Solution Proposal
One of the most prominent strategies to tackle the stipulated problem is the beefing up of security measures to curb the entry of intruders looking to commit criminal activities in learning institutions (Razmara et al., 2022). Indeed, most of the school shootings that have occurred in the past have been primarily caused by laxity at the entrance of schools, which subsequently allows the easy entry of criminals into learning facilities. Hence, beefing up security at the entrance of schools can go a long way in improving the safety of students. Improving security within the schools’ entrances entails fitting high-quality doors that use electronic cards to identify and authenticate a student before being allowed to enter the school premises (Mowen & Freng, 2019). The entrances should also be fitted with metal detection systems that are crucial in identifying weapons that may be concealed in bags or any other pockets and spaces that can be used to bring guns and other harmful objects to school.
Similarly, the electronic student card authentication systems should be complemented with face identification mechanisms to alleviate the possibility of a criminal or student with malicious intent entering the school premises under false pretense. Moreover, improving security in learn facility would entail hiring enough security guards to man the school compound area in case an intruder attempts to break in, thus nabbing criminals in case they succeed in entering the school premises (Mowen & Freng, 2019). Hence, technology is expected to play a significant role in improving the security of learning facilities against criminals and terrorists looking to commit heinous crimes in schools (Razmara et al., 2022). Furthermore, implementing the stipulated control strategy may also entail the establishment of strong relationships with local law enforcement units to facilitate the swift identification and curbing of school-related criminal threats.
DIAZ, J. (2022). Twenty-seven school shootings have taken place so far this year. NPR.org. Retrieved 2 September 2022, from https://www.npr.org/2022/05/24/1101050970/2022-school-shootings-so-far.
Everytown Research & Policy. (2022). The long, shameful list of gunfire on school grounds in America. Everytown Research & Policy. Retrieved 2 September 2022, from https://everytownresearch.org/maps/gunfire-on-school-grounds/.
Mowen, T. J., & Freng, A. (2019). Is more necessarily better? School security and perceptions of safety among students and parents in the United States. American journal of criminal justice, 44(3), 376-394.
Razmara, T., Falahi, A., & Yektayar, M. (2022). Investigating the effective factors of Islamic principles in improving security and preventing destructive and criminal behaviors in sports facilities of the country’s schools (Case study: Sports clubs of schools in the country). Journal of Islamic Jurisprudence and Law.