Marjory Stoneman shooting passes on critical lesson


Victims of Marjory Stoneman address lawmakers a week after the attack at a CNN Town Halll in Sunrise, FL. on Feb. 21. Photo used with permission of Tribune News Service.

Ethan O'Sullivan, Online Editor

Victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School on Feb. 17 chose to unite and usher in change, and their government answered by drowning out their grief.

In just three minutes, the Florida House voted down a proposal to so much as discuss gun violence. Instead, they wasted time passing a bill to declare adult pornography a ‘public health risk.’

The Florida House also passed a bill to post “In God We Trust” in all public schools. Neither of those bills would have stopped the Marjory Stoneman shooter from committing his act of evil. Neither of those things will prevent the same thing from happening to FHS if we do not make ourselves heard.

We have to face the reality of the epidemic around our country. FHS is not immune from becoming another retelling of the same tragedy we see every few weeks. Our school lacks the proper security to stop a school shooter. The recent decision to card the IDs of students who enter after the 7:35 has only added a superficial layer of security.

Student resource officers attend the school on a daily basis, but they have only a few staff members who confine themselves to the lunchrooms and Dean’s office. They are certainly an advantage, but we need more protection. President Trump’s suggestions to arm teachers is outright ridiculous. Rather than forcing teachers to carry yet another burden, we should focus on increasing the police presence in our school.

More police officers would mean a more secure building. If a shooting begins, law enforcement’s response time could be almost immediate.The student resource officer at Marjory Stoneman waited outside while the massacre happened. A heightened presence would allow the officers to hold their co-workers more accountable to their duties, so when the time comes for action, the people whose job it is to protect us do not have the choice of standing idly by.

I agree to an extent with what Principal Urban said on the announcements in the wake of the shooting. We do “need to treat each other with respect,” as he stated, but we also cannot hesitate to report anything that could pose a threat. If there is anything to be learned from Marjory Stoneman, it is that any such statement must be handled with complete seriousness. The shooter gave off several obvious threats and warnings in the time leading up to the attack, many of which were not uncovered until afterwards.

The Student Resource Officers stated during the junior class meeting during SMART period on Feb. 27 that they received more reports after the shooting. This cannot be a temporary behavior. Making authorities aware of any off-color comment or appearance could prevent another seventeen lives or more from being robbed from our community.