The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

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A shattered society: how gun violence has impacted schools across the nation

With school shootings becoming more prevalent, the question of whether or not the topic should be taught in the classroom is on the rise.

This past year, 346 school shootings were reported across the United States. Although schools across the nation have drills and procedures to practice and follow, nothing will ever fully prepare an individual for a situation like this. 

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) experienced a deadly massacre on Dec. 6, 2023. A 67-year-old gunman took the lives of three faculty members and wounded a fourth within just 10 minutes. The suspect, Anthony

Source: Gun Violence Archive

Polito, entered the UNLV campus with 150 rounds of ammunition and a list of his targets. What seemed to be a normal day quickly turned into a day of terror and alarm within minutes.

Ciana Miller, the front office lead on the UNLV campus experienced this tragedy firsthand. After hearing commotion outside of the floor-to-ceiling glass wall, Miller and her coworkers acted quickly to get out of the building. 

“At this point we had no idea what was going on, we just knew we needed to get out,” Miller said. “After just a few minutes from us relocating, we heard multiple shots being fired. From that point [on] our only objective was to get away from the school as much as possible. For at least the next hour, we heard nothing but sirens, saw nothing but emergency vehicles and knew nothing except that there was still some form of threat to campus.”

It did not take long for life at UNLV to return back to a “normal” routine following the tragedy. Miller received an email just two short days after the shooting stating that she had to be back in the office on Jan. 2, 2024, less than a month after the incident occurred. The campus hired a private security firm to monitor the school from this point on. 

Senior Layla Kane holding the Columbine book.

Multiple schools practice drills, like ALICE, that provide knowledge in the event that this occurs. Although moments like these are often unpredictable, it is greatly beneficial to have a plan. At Antioch Community High School, junior students in AP Language and Composition read “Columbine” by Dave Cullen, an in-depth look at the experiences and stories of survivors from the deadly shooting at Columbine High School in 1999.

“One of the core focuses of AP Language is the study of rhetoric and as a result, nonfiction is a primary mode of literature reading that we do in the class,” ACHS English teacher Sarah Ogborn said. “Columbine is a little bit longer of a book but it’s incredibly relevant to the daily lives of students in high school.”

The relevance of gun violence in schools and public places has continued to stay on the rise for many years. Having nonfiction literature incorporated into school curriculums provides a sense of understanding and awareness on the severity of gun violence, although it can be difficult to teach at times. 

“The fact that gun violence is something that I think all of us could be impacted [by] in some way, shape or form over the course of our lives [so it] does make this book tough to teach,” Ogborn said. “My students report that it’s one of the only books that they actually read cover to cover; they also say that it’s the most important book that they’ve ever read.”

The amount of school shootings that were reported in 2023 alone is a concerning number in itself. It is important that schools continue to educate their students and staff on the correct way to handle frightening situations if they occur.

“Unfortunately, at this time I feel that topics like this are beneficial to students,” Miller said. “In a time where we are having more shootings than days in the year, we need to make sure that students and staff are prepared for whatever may come their way.”

Source: Everytown Support Fund

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About the Contributor
Laila Salata, Tom Tom Staff
Laila Salata is a senior and this is her second year on staff. Salata plays field hockey and does cheerleading for ACHS. In her free time, Salata enjoys taking pictures, spending too much money on Starbucks, and being with friends and family. Bonus fact, she is also Miss Antioch 2023.  
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