Jul 26, 2019

In Chloe's Words

7/26/2019 — cori

When our friends were in town we spent one evening doing our own version of a TED Talk. We all decided on the topic: Gun violence in schools. We were each given 20 minutes to do research and then present our talk to the rest of the group.

It was fascinating! I thoroughly enjoyed each and every insight presented. I learned something new with each talk as well. What I appreciated the most is how well the "talks" represented each person's personality so perfectly. We have some amazing orators.

But the ONE talk that stood out from the rest was from the person most nervous to give her speech: Chloe. As soon as she finished, the room was perfectly quiet and we all sat there in awe until Priya broke the revere and said, "Chloe, you MUST send that to a local paper. That is THE BEST explanation about gun violence in schools I have ever heard!" This, coming from a teacher.

Here is the essay that astounded us all:

Ever since I have attended school, lockdown drills have been a quarterly occurrence in classes. Growing up, I’d hear little things about students “threatening” to shoot up the school. I’d heard about different shootings going on in high schools.

I never gave it much thought, I was in elementary school, or I was in middle school. Nobody shot up middle schools. It was one of those things that have been normal and I don’t give much thought, even though I should have.

When we moved to Colorado, I was a little uneasy because the first shooting anybody had heard of was Columbine, in Colorado.

But I still never gave it too much thought, except another drill we’d have to practice in school. At the end of eighth grade, the Parkland shooting headlined in the news for a long time, enough to make me scared about the possibility of it happening to me, especially since I would be going to high school that next year.

All of my freshman year, we’d have kids in my own school threatening to shoot up the school, shoot our school officer or our principal. These “threats” would be written in the bathroom stalls, lists of people they’d shoot. I was pulled out of school one day because there were rumors of which day the school shooting would happen.

In May, right before the end of the year, Highlands Ranch, a school just south of Denver got shot up. Just before he graduated, a senior was killed trying to save his peers. This shouldn’t be a thing kids go through their entire school career and think of as normal, or inevitable.

We need to prevent things like this from happening before it becomes too normal to pay attention to. There are several ways to prevent school shootings. One of the main reasons a student shoots their school up is because of their mental state.

Feeling neglect from parents, depression, anxiety from grades, or anger. Teachers can start recognizing these traits, make a personal connection with that student, recommend help, and follow through with it.

People often argue ‘guns don’t kill people — people kill people’. This is true, but what is the main way people kill people? Through guns. Controlling guns, maintaining areas where they're allowed to be used, at a shooting range, for hunting, and that’s all.

It’s simple in theory, but there are too many people who will think it’s either all guns or no guns at all. It’s like during class, one student sticks gum under his desk, so no one gets to chew gum.

It doesn’t have to be like that, people just need to realize it’s not right to stick gum under your desk.

Well said, Chloe! I hope people care and listen to the words of a 15 year old.

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