September 19, 2023 Blog

School is back in session!

School is back in session!

Unfortunately, gun violence is an increasing fear upon the return to school.

As students transition back to school this academic year, awareness must be brought back to the distress gun violence continues to wreak among youth in the United States. While the beginning of the year tends to amplify many anxieties, none of those worries should concern their child’s safety. Schools are intended to enrich a child’s life, not endanger it. Unfortunately, the growing rate of gun violence continues to plague schools, and many children are experiencing ongoing physical, mental, and emotional turmoil in the United States education system.

Since the Columbine shooting of 1999, 386 school shootings have occurred (Washington Post). The topic has become so normalized among families that nearly half of all parents have pondered buying bulletproof backpacks for their children  (Evolv Technology). Out of that majority, one in four families have decided to purchase one (Evolv Technology). Unfortunately, many families do not have the disposable means to purchase additional materials for the purpose of preventing potential gun violence. Most American families are already struggling to purchase standard supplies for their children.  As of April 2023, 77% of Americans reported feeling financially stressed (CNBC). The ability to purchase preventative materials is a luxury. Families experiencing economic hardship are put at a disadvantage in this position – one that may cost their child their life. A discrepancy in disposable income and inability to access preventative materials likely increases the rate of gun violence in lower income communities. Financial status should bear no relation to safety, and parents should not be responsible for enhancing gun protection in schools.

Anxiety regarding a student’s safety is a deterrent to their learning and is increasingly detrimental to the student’s overall well-being. The livelihood of children continues to be directly correlated to gun violence in schools. Many have either suffered, witnessed, or experienced the repercussions of gun violence in their lives. Half of parents are beginning to ponder homeschooling their kids, and 3 ⁄ 4 of their kids report having severe anxiety about school shootings (Evolv Technology). Whether kids are experiencing emotional distress from a shooting they have witnessed or anticipatory anxiety about a shooting likely occurring- both wreak havoc on a child’s well-being and do not create a suitable learning environment. It should be of utmost importance to protect children in a place of learning, which must begin with passing legislation that reforms the broken system.

 The first step towards enhancing gun regulation is in the hands of legislation; every voice and vote are critical in the war against guns.