There have been many mass shootings in the U.S. for consecutive months and they are seemingly becoming harder to prevent. When it comes to general mass shootings in the U.S., there are deaths of 4 or more people not, including the shooter. For example, the shooting at the First Baptist Church. The First Bapist Church shooting fatally killed 27 people and wounded 20 others in Sutherland Spring, Texas. The shooter was named Devin Patrick Kelly who was prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition due to a domestic violence conviction in a court-martial while in the United States Air Force. About 33,000 people are fatally shot in the U.S. each year and about two thirds of these deaths are suicides. Another third of these deaths are homicides, which have been steadily declining for decades. In 2015, around 13,286 people were killed in the U.S. by firearms in non-suicide related deaths. In 1993, that rate was at 18,253. In most of the years in between, part of a decades-long trend of declining gun violence, mass shooting victims accounted for less than one-tenth of a percent of shooting victims.
The worst mass shootings in which you can argue are school shootings. Rampage school shootings are a type of school shooting where no single or specific individual is targeted by the shooter. Although school shootings occur worldwide, the United States has been the scene of the vast majority of the attacks that have to do with the school being targeted, especially since the late 20th century. Most school shooters have a motive that we usually never find out because they usually take their own life.
Another horrible mass shooting target is concerts or overall “big events”. In the terrorist mind, he wants to target events which hold many people at a time, he wants as many people dead as possible. The number of public mass shootings have increased substantially, although there has been an approximately 50% decrease in firearm homicides in the nation overall since 1993. Not all mass shootings like these can result in many deaths because of the quickness of emergency and possibly even stopping a shooter from doing what he is about to do.
Mass shootings are a terrible, tragic event in this world. So many innocent people are dying because someone can’t control their actions or more often than not, because people are careless with their words. We as a country have to stop giving people motives and stop these horrific events happening year after year.
Every year at Brien McMahon High School, we spend a day exploring different activities and enjoy relaxation time in different classes. This is called, “Climate Day”. Climate Day is a bullying awareness day, where we do fun things until it is time to be dismissed. It takes place on a certain day in mid- October, and many of the students in the school enjoy it. Activities usually vary from relaxation, sports, music, food making, etc. The main idea for Climate Day is for kids to experience a day of fun. In other words, get a break from all of our school work.
Climate Day was designed to be a bully free day and to make kids feel good. A week before climate day, students pick the activities they wish to attend in their house (homeroom period). The day of Climate Day, each grade has an assembly for about half an hour, until the activities begin. Our activities are chosen by students from McMahon, or teachers. Each year, we try to change up the activities so that students don’t get bored by the same things.
McMahon has began to become very strict during Climate Day since kids started to take advantage. Kids often take climate day as a chance to leave school, which is never okay. Any students caught leaving school grounds usually receive a consequence which varies from a 3 hour detention to an In School Suspension. I agree that Climate Day may seem like a free day off, but I recommend coming to school and enjoying yourself. Climate Day is really a good entertainment to BMHS students, that shouldn’t be taken advantage of. It’s best to have a climate day and enjoy it, rather than not have one at all.
Climate Day is personally my favorite day every school year because it’s something that the kids in McMahon need. Being a teenager in high school is hard, and very stressful. We’re loaded with homework, tests, projects, etc and it all can become very overwhelming, or massive. Although one day in the whole school year may not seem like much, climate day is really a day that can have a positive effect on the students of BMHS. I feel like climate day would be better if we had one, at least once a month, rather than one day of October every year.
I believe that this day should be taken more seriously. When do you ever hear a day of high school students having fun ? Exactly ! Climate Day has always been special to me since I came to McMahon. It makes me feel like even though school can be very hard, there’s days where everything will be fine. My peers have stated the same thing. Climate Day is a day meant to bring everyone closer, and for everyone to meet individuals in the school , they wouldn’t usually speak to. All the different activities and all the different teachers and students you’ll encounter is thrilling. Climate Day is a tradition that every school should have in order for kids to feel better about going to school everyday.
Alejandra Donaire Daza
Switching schools was a very difficult decision to make in my life. I would be so worried about who would be in my classes as well as who my teachers would be. . I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to take the big step in life to have new change,it was one of my biggest fears.
Brien McMahon made a big impact in my life in a positive way. I used to go to Norwalk High school my freshman year and sophomore year. It was an alright school but I wasn’t really happy there. I was so scared to transfer to McMahon, but when I did it was the best decision ever.
When I transferred in the middle of September, I felt comfortable with my new teachers and the few new friends I made. Everyone was very welcoming and kind to me which felt great to start off freshly! I got lost around the school, and I wasn’t used to the big numbers on the doors and the way the classes were organized. Everything was totally different and I wasn’t the only person who felt the same way.
I had the pleasure to interview my friend, Steven Zeleya, who transferred to McMahon when he was a freshman. He went to Norwalk High for half the year then switched schools. It was a big change for him, he didn’t expect to have moved that year. He was nervous about making new friends and getting to know his teachers because he was so used to his current school. Ever since he transferred he has gotten a better experience in school and has made lots of friends during his past two years of High school. His brother graduated at McMahon and he also transferred the same year as Steven . They both went through lots of changes and it was very difficult to make friends since they both came into McMahon shy and not knowing anyone. Everyone made them feel welcomed and ever since his transfer he doesn’t regret coming to Brien McMahon.
The students of Brien McMahon High School want a lot of activities from their class officers. This consists of things such as dances, lower prices for activities, and much more for this upcoming year. Many students are willing to participate, and help their class in achieving what they want. Many classes want different things such as, the seniors and juniors would like cheaper yearbook, and prom tickets. The sophomores would like more dances, bake sales and social events to hang out with friends. While the freshmen would also like more dances with different trending themes, and bake sales.
Many students want less expensive items such as prom tickets and yearbooks, which requires them to raise more money. Spreading the word to other people and making it well known for them to be talking about it with others, would help with having lots of participants. If we have many people participating more money would be raised, and the peoples wishes would be achieved. To help these activities to happen, the students would need to participate and attend most of these events to raise money.
Roja Yousuf is the sophomore class president for the year 2022; “We will do our very best to do what our class wants us to do. We would go to many lengths in order to do this, and in order to have our classmates voices heard, in consideration of their needs and wants”. The class officers are working hard to make events fun, and also get opinions from the students.
The students in each class want to achieve their wishes and have fun before graduating. A quote from Adamarys Benites a student in the class of 2021 stated; “I want to have fun before I graduate from my junior year and I would like to have games after school where people can join if they want to. An example would be like, having a volleyball game and anyone can join”. Many students do not want to leave high school without having fun and being stressed from all the homework given.
Brien McMahon is one of the most diverse high schools. Every person at McMahon has a different hobby. Some hobbies are cool and interesting and some not so much.
In McMahon, a lot of cheerleaders have cool hobbies that relate to art. Fashanti N. Lee, one of the cheerleaders at McMahon, paints and draws on her own time but she takes it to the next level. According to Fashanti, she likes to design graduation caps and sell them to seniors which not a lot of people do. She also loves photography and is good at it. Photography is a hobby she shares with some of her cheerleading friends such as Rosie and Josie Marshall. Fashanti also said a hobby she would be interested in would be taking care of animals such as grooming them or helping those that are injured.
Malaury B. Aime, a junior at McMahon. Aime stated, “I like to help out at animal shelters on the weekends. Other than that I’m really into photography. I don’t think any of my hobbies are unique or strange but I’d say the coolest one is volunteering at an animal shelter and I honestly wish I could adopt one.” Aime also stated that a hobby she would be interested in taking is painting.
Lucceza St. Denis, another junior at McMahon stated that some of her hobbies are playing tennis, making art, and writing songs as well as poetry. Denis said, “My strangest hobby would most likely be painting modern abstract portraits on clothes because I get my best ideas from nightmares I have. I am also very interested in music and would like to learn to play the acoustic guitar. A close friend of mine is an amazing singer and songwriter who loves to record her music. One of her songs is actually on Spotify right now. She is very talented and works hard on her talent every day which allows her to improve on different techniques and and not lose motivation. She tells me that she wants to pursue a music career and her hardest struggle is with procrastination when songwriting. I do not know anyone with a painting hobby like mine but I would love to meet some so that we can inspire each other’s work.”
Imagine walking into the front doors of Brien McMahon and seeing two armed guards covering the doors. They’re serious and focused. Would you feel safe or intimidated? Ask yourself, would coming to school everyday and seeing armed forces throughout the school actually benefit your safety and the Brien McMahon community, or make you feel unsafe?
Twenty years ago, two students from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado opened fire, injuring and killing twelve of their fellow classmates and teachers before turning the guns on themselves. During the time of the Columbine shooting, police were not trained to go directly into the gunfire, but to wait for the SWAT team to arrive, unfortunately, giving the shooter more time to continue firing at students. Since the violent shooting, schools have upgraded their plan for active shooters.
Today, we practice the “Run, Hide, Fight” method. Run-- if you’re able to run away from the violence, do it. If you’re unable to run from the shooter, hide. If the shooter approaches your classroom, fight. We’re told to do things that will distract the shooter and slow them down like throwing books. Since the events of Columbine, law enforcement has been trained to go directly to the noise of gunfire. Classrooms doors are now able to be locked from the inside and students have been taught how to barricade them.
Since the Columbine shooting, ABC News has reported eleven mass school shootings. In Newtown, Connecticut, twenty children and six teachers were shot and killed by twenty-year-old Adam Lanza. Considered to be the deadliest school shooting in the U.S., the Virginia Tech shooting took thirty-two lives (CNN). Victims involved in each of the massacres followed the “Run, Hide, and Fight” plan. Do you think it was enough? If there were armed guards, would the deaths of multiple children, teenagers, and teachers have been prevented?
I interviewed Jessica Jean-Pierre, a senior at Brien McMahon about her opinions and thoughts on armed security in school communities. Pierre (‘20) says she thinks armed security is a good idea. “I would feel a lot safer since they are there to help if there are any threats that might come among us,” she shared.
Stationing armed guards at schools has both pros and cons. For instance, armed guards patrolling the school would decrease the chances of violent incidents and massacres, lessen bullying, and increase observation on students. However, armed guards at school do offer the risk of potential violence; if a guard does not receive a thorough background check, it could result in violent incidents. Additionally, students may fear the armed guards instead of feeling protected.
While stationing armed guards at school communities offers many safety precautions, it also offers safety concerns. Regardless, no one should be afraid of coming to school, nor uncomfortable. School should not feel like a prison, but a place of learning and making life-lasting memories.