Sandy Hook shooting causes minor concern for school safety
In light of the recent, tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, school safety and gun control issues are gaining attention across the country, reflected by the media. From sympathetic posts on Facebook to rowdy pro-Second Amendment guests on Piers Morgan, the event has America thinking.
After the shooting, El Camino’s administration gathered to discuss what safety measures the school would take in order to combat the possibility of a similar situation. Even after a “safe school plan,” principal Dave Fehte said, there isn’t a definite way to prevent this from happening. A shooting would be everyone’s “worst nightmare,” Fehte said, with a bracelet with initials “S.H.E.S.” for Sandy Hook Elementary School sitting nearby on his desk, in honor and remembrance of the recent tragedy in Connecticut.
Students, although commiserative with the families who suffered losses, don’t seem to be apprehensive about the threat of a shooting at El Camino. “I do not have any fear because of any shooting that happened elsewhere,” senior Alex Goldstein said.
Such an event is a harsh reality to be faced, but students still attend school without fearing for their safety. “I feel safe at El Camino, regardless of the shooting in Connecticut,” sophomore Alaina Yousofi said.
El Camino is patrolled by 13 security aides and one armed police officer. Of El Camino’s security against possible threats, assistant principal Dean Bennett said, “We are a step ahead of the rest of the nation. Other schools are just thinking about it. LAUSD already has a police force.” El Camino, although now charter, is still included in the three-decade-long tradition of having security on campus.
School safety, however, may not be the main issue related to the fear of another similar incident. The Second Amendment to the Constitution, which grants Americans the right to bear arms, is a hot topic on television, sparked by the shooting.
History teacher James DeLarme sees the connection between our gun policy and the shooting. “We need to discuss the number of guns we have in this country,” he said. DeLarme does not believe that the shooting in Connecticut makes it any more likely to happen here, but that our country’s position on gun control and violence is what makes such situations probable.
There have not been any major threats posed to El Camino, even with a six-hour lockdown in the school’s recent past. Even then, El Camino demonstrated impressive behavior in dealing with the crisis. “When we had a lockdown,” Fehte said, “a S.W.A.T. team member was impressed by the way students, faculty and the school shut down like we did.”
Although the shooting turned out to be a fraud, El Camino exhibited safety precautions that allow students to feel safe. Said Fehte, “We’re as safe as we can possibly be.”