Preparation for school shootings may not be making students feel safer. They may be inflicting so much fear within students that they have started to seek alternative safety options.
The New York Times released an article about Mackenzie Bushey, a 15-year old junior at Sheehan High in Wallingford, Connecticut. A new “no cellphone policy” was introduced in one of Mackenzie’s classes. When she found out, she was upset.
Without a phone, Mackenzie stressed that she was losing the ability to protect herself. She found safety within her phone, without that, she explained, she would not be able to notify the police if a school shooter entered the building. In addition, she would not be able to contact her family to tell her “last goodbye.”
Students and families have started to purchase safer school equipment as a precaution.
J.T. Lewis, in a recently released New York Times article, received a $200 Bullet Blocker backpack from his grandmother before starting his freshman year of college. Although surprised with the gift, his grandmother and himself had a “common understanding” that the backpack was necessary.
In the ideal scenario, the backpack would be placed in front of Lewis in order to block a bullet. However, in the case that there is no time to react, Lewis mentioned how the backpack would not prevent him from dying in a shooting, but it might help to stop a bullet from behind.
Lastly, fear of school shootings have led students to find safety in everyday objects found in the common classroom.
Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit gun violence awareness organization, released a video titled “Back to School Essentials” on Youtube. Within the video, students showcase their new school equipment.
The video started with students, one by one, showing off their new school equipment. However, towards the middle of the video, students began to flee the school as sounds of gunshots arose in the background. The represented students then began to display their new school equipment as weapons or life saving equipment. A young girl said “these new socks can really be a lifesaver” as she began to tie the sock around an injured classmate’s leg in order to stop the bleeding of her gunshot wound.
There are many safety representations in the video. Scissors used as a knife. A jacket used to tie a door shut. A skateboard used to break a window in order to escape the shooter. They may all be used for a different purpose, but the content in the video infers students to use everyday objects as a way to protect themselves in a school shooting.