Stop the shootings

After the shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, should a plan need be implemented in schools around the nation that examine the behavior of students?

The date was November 30, 2021. A chilly day in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. The students of Oxford High attended class as usual, unaware of the horrors that would come into tuition. Soon booming gunshots ripped through the halls of their school, ensuing screams of pure terror. The doors on each classroom were shut and students hid in fear of their lives. Suddenly, outside one classroom came an officer, knocking on the door. Attempting to coax them out, the officer promised their safety. However, the students suspected correctly based on his childish language that opening the door was a risk they were not willing to take, and the highschoolers bolted out the windows in desperation. All in all, eleven were shot, four killed, and many others critically injured.

 The culprit of the attack, Ethan Crumbly, was a fifteen year old sophomore attending the highschool. The reason for the attack is still unknown as he continues to refuse speaking to authorities of the potential cause. However, what is known is the events leading up to the shooting. Drawing alarming notes. Speaking of shootings in his journal. The New York Times even mentions how, “investigators had recovered two videos from the suspect’s cell phone, which were made the night before the attack. The student is seen talking about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High.” 

School shootings are a growing trend, spreading like a wildfire throughout our country. Just as we think we are finally over this crisis, another mass killing at some school around the nation is committed. A statistic shows that in 2021, there “were at least 149 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 32 deaths and 94 injuries nationally.” And the chilling fact of the matter is that these numbers continue to rise each year.

However, there are ways to prevent these horrific acts. Much like Ethan Crumbly, the signals shown that something is wrong with a kid are easily apparent. Most school shooters plan in advance, and inadvertently or intentionally give hints along the way. Any threats, such as these alarming notes or videos, should be taken seriously as they could show that without help these students may harm others or themselves.

The fact is it only takes one person to harm everyone around them. One person’s decision to take the lives of those who are innocent. One person to take away all the trust of safety in a school, which should be an intrinsic right. A plan should be implemented into schools around the nation surrounding this issue, introducing new reform and heightening examinations of students behavior. Oxford High had all the clues in front of them, yet could not piece the actions together, leading up to the attack. A school should never have to succumb to these losses and have utter tragedies broadcasted everywhere, leaving a permanent stain on its reputation. To solve this, counseling should be more readily available. Anyone should be able to speak to someone with full honesty and be able to have a conversation about whatever they are going through. Times should be allotted and set for each student, whether deemed potentially dangerous or not, to check in and discuss what is going through their minds. If a student’s demeanor is judged to be anything out of the ordinary, steps should be taken in order to get them back on track. Every student deserves a chance in life. Neglect leads to devastation.

Graphic by Emmi Wu ’23/Staff

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