By Erin Seitz
Volume 3 Issue 1
November 7, 2022
Image provided by Herald
In recent times, there has been an uproar of conversation on gun violence and the effects it has on schools and education in Valley Stream school communities. In the school we go to every day, Valley Stream North, there has been another recent threat to student safety. Starting on Snapchat, there was a threat of a shooting and bombing to an educational area, where students are supposed to feel safe. Gun violence is leading to a change in scholars’ educations and causing a threat to their safety in a building where all they are supposed to be worrying about is learning.
As the threat arose through social media, parents and guardians had to face the choice and worries of sending their child to school that week. The threat was stated to be from Tuesday, October 25th, until Friday, October 28th. As missing school for 4 days isn’t an option for most students due to the pace of learning in every class, parents and guardians had to watch their children leave the house in the morning with the nagging fear of what could happen at school. Some parents made the difficult choice, causing their children to face the educational consequences of staying completely home from school. This threat also was sent to other schools such as Long Beach High School, all stating the same thing. Worries from the students and parents all arose, as uncertain questions about what to do developed. It was reported that upwards of half the student body remained home on Tuesday, either due to their guardians’ worries or their own. How is it fair that students had to miss days of education to these threats? How is it fair the students had to fall behind in classes due to the nagging fear of violence?
Shootings and bombings in schools have had a recent uprise. Since 2012, the year of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, there have been approximately 948 school shootings. Valley Stream North fortunately hasn’t had a shooting but has had multiple threats to the safety of its students and educators. In 2018, there was a shooting threat to the school, leading to the arrest of a past senior. On October 24th, 2021, a bomb threat was sent to Valley Stream North High School, threatening the lives of the building’s students and teachers. Now, on October 24th, 2022, there has been yet another one. How many more times are students’ and teachers’ lives going to be threatened?
Schools came up with temporary solutions to the recent threat such as banning backpacks for the duration of the week and only allowing laptops into the building to try to ease fears. Extracurriculars, from sports to clubs, had all been cancelled as well. But schools shouldn’t have to worry about coming up with solutions to help protect the students and teachers inside of them. The fear of guns and weapons being in the wrong hands should not be involved in an educational building’s worries. The worries a student should have are about learning, studying, and completing assignments. The fear of being injured or worse, killed in the building they are sent to everyday, shouldn’t be a worry they have to face.