Much of the U.S. has been in an uproar as many students, K-12, are protesting for more gun control. Recently, Elkin High and Middle School participated in this protest, which was split between two groups of people.
One group of students wanted more gun control, while another group wanted mental health evaluations. Whatever the grouping, students who participated, teachers and a few students who remained neutral during the protest, all had different views to share.
The responses for dealing with school violence and gun control varied widely, and some were simply parroting news channels. All groups, however, had opinions about the three routes the government could take to respond to recent school shootings: arming teachers in schools, doing more background checks, and allowing more armed school resource officers on campuses.
At no point was arming teachers mentioned by either the teachers or students when interviewed. There was mention of banning semi-automatic rifles along with the current ban of automatic rifles. One teacher and one student, Sierra Moses, noted that security should be required for said firearms. Most would feel safer if guns were kept in secure areas, locked away from everyone except the gun’s documented owner.
Teachers and students also acknowledged the importance of dealing with mental health issues. As one teacher, Ruthann McComb, said, “Mental health in our country has stigma attached and that dissuades some from seeking help.”
To aid those people, the stigma of seeking help has to be reduced. In these cases where mental or emotional well-being are concerned, almost all of the people who were interviewed agreed that there is a need for more counselors in schools.
When dealing with school shootings and violence in general, it is probably best to attack the issue at all angles. One such angle is the unique situations occurring with gender roles and child rearing as student Levi Edwards sees it.
According to Edwards, America is in transition as the role of women in society is shifting and has been shifting since before World War Two. That means children are often raised in daycares while parents work long hours. That weakens the family unit and leaves many children feeling alone. This combined with years of poor advice from parenting books has deteriorated the child-rearing process. Children brought up without a strong family unit may not be equipped to make good decisions.
Whatever angle America takes to try and solve this issue, no one answer will probably solve it. These shootings have been occurring all over the United States, with the worst most recently in Florida and Texas.
While some people choose to sit around and do nothing, others want to take action. These acts of violence will not stop unless the people, as a community, do something to fight back. Whether it be arming teachers, increased background checks, or arming more school officers, something must be done.
School should be a place to learn and grow, not a place to die.
Carson Pardue, Harry De Celle, and Henry Freeman are English students at Elkin High School.