The Fruitport High School in Township, Michigan is currently being built with two main ideas: to provide students with the education they need to succeed and to hold the fear of mass shootings over their heads for the entirety of their time there.
Rather than spend extra money on academics and sports, this high school has opted to use the money to construct barriers.
These barriers will be used to hinder a mass shooting within its walls.
However, aside from the money, what is the real cost?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the safety of the public, especially the youth.
They deserve to be able to leave the house and make it home in one piece.
However, there comes a point where too much is just too much.
Curved hallways to shorten lines of sight, doors that can be locked down remotely with the press of a button, “shadow zones” for students to hide, wing walls for extra protection against ballistic projectiles and windows covered in a bulletproof film are some prime examples of exactly what is “too much.”
These obstacles may be effective at stopping bullets, but they are also effective at making students that much more afraid of a possible shooting.
By sending students to this school, the only real lesson they will be taking back with them every day is to live in fear.
Fear that at any moment their lives can be snatched from them.
This is not what a student should take home with them. They should not have to be constantly reminded of the possibilities of a shooting, even if it is something that is sadly taken a norm in our society.
The school claims that they will be blending the safety measures into the architecture of the school.
However, as soon as a student reads or hears of any articles about the school, they will forever know the real purpose of these wing walls and “shadow zones.”
No amount of decoration can stop that.
The rounded hallways and remote locks are fine, they serve more than just the purpose to stop a gunman, but most importantly, they are unobtrusive. They are out of sight.
Thus, the fear of an attack is out of mind.
There is not a single day that is promised to us.
Some event or another could be the deciding factor which cuts our mortal coil.
Life is meant to be lived like every day might be your last because honestly, it could be. So, teaching these kids to be fearful of what could happen is doing nothing but submitting them to a life of fear.
There is a better way to keep children safe rather than putting bulletproof inserts in their backpacks.
Likewise, it is certainly not to put bulletproof inserts in their school.
At the rate we are going at, we may as well start making body armor for toddlers.
If you want to keep children safe, or your child[dren], accept that the world we live in is dangerous; however, do educate them on how they can make it safer, or at least how they can take care of themselves if anything were to happen.
We do not need our schools to start preparing for war.
Nor do we need to start hiding [our] children from the real world.
As individuals, we need to do better.
It is time to stop preparing for shootings and instead end them altogether.
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