Throughout February and early March, there have been many shocking events that students were unprepared for. After the shooting in Parkland, Americans, especially young Americans, responded with a renewed determination to stop gun violence. With so much debate regarding gun laws and mental illness, it’s no wonder that La Caňada High School students feel compelled to share their own thoughts and opinions on these matters. For this article, some of the students chose to remain anonymous.
“Right now, in the event of a school shooting, we aren’t as prepared as we should be,” one student commented.
While the school has a set of safety protocols in case of emergencies, they haven’t shared these plans with the student body outside of infrequent drills. As a result, there are still some students who are unsure what they should do if they’re stuck in a dangerous situation. Some students have even proposed a number of ideas that they feel would make our school safer in the future.
“Most of the time, I feel safe at school. But it would definitely be a good idea to put more security cameras up,” another student confessed. “(It’s important) that we can see what’s going on in the more isolated places of the school. After all, safety is our #1 priority.”
Related to the question of school safety is our school’s attitude toward mental health. Whether it’s the stress of our academic workload or pushing through issues in our personal lives, everyone has endured challenges that have been emotionally taxing. It’s not a topic we’ve discussed in depth at school, but it’s something students want the adults to recognize.
“We may not be able to change the physical aspects of our school, but we can work to adjust the students’ attitudes,” one student explained.
These concerns haven’t gone unanswered. The school board has encouraged students to speak out about their opinions, and counselors have offered more opportunities for one-on-one discussions. In order to establish a stronger bond of trust amongst the student body, faculty, and administration, Principal McFeat and Superintendent Sinnette also conducted an open forum during lunch, where anyone could ask questions about the school’s efforts to make our campus safer.
“Student safety is really about information,” Principal McFeat said. “The more information we have, the safer we can make our school. It is really a partnership between students and teachers and administrators, which is why we have been actively seeking their perspectives.”
Whether students will be more comfortable talking with the adults on campus in the future remains to be seen.
We all have different opinions on what is needed to make our school safer, or more prepared, for anything that comes our way. So in the coming months, lend your voice to the discussion. Share what you feel needs to be said and what the adults need to know about our world. Communication could be the path we need to take in order to reach a solution.