In just 30 minutes, a 16-year-old boy brutally injured more than nineteen fellow students, leaving four of them in critical condition. The teenage assailant waited in the school hallway in Pennsylvania, wielding two knives, and started stabbing students as well as a guard as they began arriving.
Going to school has become nothing short of a game of Russian roulette in the United States as instances of violence continue to escalate. From the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass murder to this latest incident, the frequency is alarming.
In all likelihood, this will not be the last such report. The question is: what are we to do to ensure the safety of our children?
We do not yet know what caused this rampage and neither should one care. The primary concern must be to ensure that no such incident repeats itself.
In the wake of student violence, we must all acquaint ourselves with measures to minimize the occurrence of another tragedy. Above and foremost, these incidents should remind schools of the increasing need for staff to be able to tackle and prevent such incidents. Increase Physical Security: Installingmetal detectors and placing multiple surveillance cameras across the premises can go a long way in catching guns and knives.
Enforce strict gun law policies: China heavily regulates firearms ownership which minimizes the risk of violence at schools. The Firearms-Control Law in Chine typically prohibits any private possession of firearms in China with extremely limited exceptions. This is a stark contrast from the lax US Gun Laws, which generally allow ownership of arms to all citizens except for criminals and the mentally ill.
Allow Anonymous Reporting: Students who are aware of their classmates carrying knives or guns should be able to inform the school authorities without incrimination.
Indoctrinate The Illegality Of Carrying A Gun: Ensure that sure your kid knows that it's illegal to carry a knife or gun even for self-defense purposes. Being found with a knife could very well lead to expulsion from school, police arrest, court trial and a prison sentence.
Remain Calm: Explain to your child that walking away from potentially dangerous situations is cleverer and tougher than getting involved.
It shouldn’t go unnoticed that an American Journal of Public Health study concluded "the United States has higher rates of firearm ownership than do other developed nations, and higher rates of homicide. Of the 233,251 people who were homicide victims in the United States between 1988 and 1997, 68% were killed with guns, of which the large majority were handguns.”