Are we prepared?

Parkland shooting has made me question my safety in school

Opinion of Hannah Gellar

It is safe to say that it is human nature to ignore the monsters and dangers that this world is full of. Whether that be cancer, rape, poverty, or school shootings, the consistent response is something along the lines of: “That is devastating but it would never happen to me.” I too have fallen into the trap of taking tragedies and sending thoughts and prayers, without having a motivation to start action in order to prevent it from happening again. I have realized that this issue is here and it is time for us to do something about it.
Last month our school had a practice lockdown where all students and teachers were aware that during a certain time and block, we would go into lockdown mode. Sitting in study hall in the commons, I made sure I knew exactly where I would go and even asked the secretaries in the main office to make sure to let me in. As 9:45 a.m. quickly approached, I made sure I had used the bathroom, moved my backpack, and made way into the main office so by the time the drill was announced, everyone at my study hall table was safely seated in the office, with doors locked and blinds closed.
And that was that. I was prepared now right? We practiced a lock down and now I would be ready if an active shooter was in our  school.
Frankly, after this drill I felt everything but prepared to say the least. Being a part of multiple sports teams and also a very involved and diligent high school student, I have learned that practice makes perfect. Before an ECC lacrosse game, we spend hours going through plays and drills in order to be prepared to win. Before a big pre-calculus test, I make sure to practice multiple problems and scenarios so I am ready for whatever comes my way. I believe it would be beneficial if we were more aware of what we needed to do, so if the situation occurs, we feel  prepared.
ELHS has many safety measures that they must follow, including a practice lockdown and a fire drill once a month. There has also been an addtion to the security staff to cover from 6 p.m. to noon each day. Plans are also in place for videos to be produced on specific situations in the school to be shown on the morning news show. These videos will highlight times of the day where students may feel the least safe. As of April 2 after The Viking Saga met with Mr. Susi, it was said that the videos are still in the planning stage, but no action for these videos have taken place.
I am tired of waiting for something to happen before we start to take action. At the end of the day, as students, we cannot control the decisions of the administration or Congress, but we do have control over what we can do today or tomorrow in order to ensure a safer environment in school. There are student-led town hall meetings held in the auditorium that allow students a safe place to say how they feel. Speaking up is the first step for students at ELHS to influence administration. Laws and money aside, it is time for each student to evaluate their role in the community, and as simple as it sounds, embrace kindness instead of fear.
So while we see protests on Facebook, listen to the NRA go on and on, and watch the school shooting death rate increase, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions: Are we prepared and how can I make myself prepared? I know my answer. Do you?

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