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Do Students Feel Safe at Santa Barbara High School?

In modern society students are subjected to the fear that they might lose their lives while attending school. School should be a cultivation of students bettering themselves emotionally, academically, and physically. Recently, it has turned into a place where students are using energy that they could be using to better themselves, to be fearful of the constant threat of an intruder infiltrating a school with a semi-automatic weapon. What are we subjecting the children of the Nation to? Children are supposed to grow up and change the world but have instilled within them to be fearful of the very place where they are supposed to develop the tools and resources to eventually change the world for the better. Since there is always a looming threat of a school shooting not only on Santa Barbara High School’s campus, but every highschool campus across the United States. It felt applicable to ask SBHS students the question, “Do you feel safe at Santa Barbara High School?”  

To better understand the responses that SBHS students had when tasked with answering the question, “Do you feel safe at Santa Barbara High School?” I feel as though it is important to analyze the implications that school shootings have had on not only the United States, but our community of Santa Barbara. It’s important to look at previous school shootings that have occurred in the United States over time. The Columbine Shooting took place on April 20, 1999, over twenty three years ago. The two perpetrators, who attended Columbine High School, arrived on campus at 11:19 a.m and began their killing spree. By 11:35 a.m they had killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded more than 20 other people in 16 minutes. The Columbine High School shooting not only awakened the public’s eyes to how much irreversible damage semi-automatic weapons could have on students, but it also led the nation to question how safe their children are while attending school and prompted a national debate over gun control and school safety. 

It has been over 23 years since the Columbine High School Shooting took place. In 23 years, one would think that as a nation we would have taken steps to make sure that history wouldn’t repeat itself. Since the 1999 Columbine School Shooting there have been 377 school shootings. This statistic should be alarming, as 377 is almost an unfathomable number of shootings. What, as a society, are we doing to try to limit if not completely rid the nation of the threat of gun violence within educational systems. The Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting that happened on December 12, 2012, was one of the most deadly school shootings in the United States and is still the deadliest school shooting to this day. With 28 elementary school children dead and two injured. These are just two examples of how disastrous school shootings are to the community where these acts of violence have occurred and to the general mental welfare of students across the United States. 

Just recently there was not only a school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee on March 27, 2023 that resulted in one casualty, but there was also a false threat of an active school shooter just up the road at San Marcos on April 3, 2023. These events keep raising the question if this can keep happening to schools in different parts of the United States the threat of gun violence feels impending.

While talking to Hana Sutherland, a fellow student attending SBHS, she talks about the threat of gun violence at SBHS, stating, “I feel safe, but the idea of a threat revolving around gun violence at SBHS has definitely crossed my mind more than once.” While talking to another student, Sienna Dybdahl about the same topic of the potential threat of gun violence, she states, “I love Santa Barbara High School, but I think that it is way too easy to bring something into school without anybody suspecting anything.” Through interviewing students at Santa Barbara High School I was able to decipher that the majority of students feel uneasy while at school and that the thought of something happening at school has crossed students’ minds more than once. These answers are also representative that issues being contemplated on a national level including the issue of student’s safety while attending school is still applicable and occurring within the Santa Barbara community.


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    Hi, my name is Emma King. I'm a freshman at SBHS. I love writing about issues that matter and I love journalism. I also love playing the guitar and ukulele.

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