Other experts argue that schools need to take an inside approach and address student
mental health. This is based on the belief that a filling school with extreme security
measures will send the signal that it is a place of violence, and has the potential to change
how teachers, students, and the administration view one another. Additionally, one must
acknowledge the natural social competition schools foster with some being considered
“popular” and some “not.” This pronounced social hierarchy can lead to bullying.
Oftentimes, the shooter is described as an “outcast” or “loner.” Therefore, making schools
a more inclusive atmosphere would be beneficial, as well.
To further cultivate the importance of mental health, experts urge teachers and
families to talk openly and honestly with children after shootings or shooting safety drills
about their fears and feelings. The more positive a campus climate, the more students can
share their own thoughts, as well as concerns about their classmates who have exhibited
troubling behavior, without being labeled a “snitch.”
As far as costs go for future security, in 2018 Congress passed an appropriations
bill setting aside $100 million a year in grants for programs dedicated to stopping school
violence, to be used from the 2019 fiscal year through 2028. Another proposition of help
would be if insurance companies reward schools that do safety assessments with a reduced
premium as an incentive to save money while working toward safety, instead of losing
money trying to fix the problem.
Although these events are frequent and awful, there is a lot of research, time, and
effort being dedicated in preventing harm to our nation’s youth. With the proper funding,
research, and technology, the goal is to find a way to make school a safe haven for children
again. There are different theories about how to reach that goal, but despite different beliefs
on how to achieve that, everyone has the same aspiration and will do anything we can to
make it a reality.
Appropriations Act of 2018, S.B. 99 (Feb. 16, 2017),
Carolyn Fagan, The Impact of Mass School Shootings on the Mental Health of Survivors: What Parents
Need to Know, PSYCOM (Apr. 24, 2018), https://www.psycom.net/mental-health-wellbeing/school-shooting-survivor-mental-health/.
Education Week Staff, Should Teachers Carry Guns? The Debate, Explained, EDUC. WEEK (Aug. 24,
Erin Dooley, Armed security officers in schools increasing: Report, ABC NEWS (Mar. 29, 2018),