The Student News Site of Paso Robles High School

Crimson Newsmagazine

Crimson Newsmagazine

Crimson Newsmagazine


This poll has ended.

What is your New Year's Resolution?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Are we safe at school?


School shootings raise gun concerns among parents, students, and staff

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida marked the eighteenth shooting of 2018 and the eighth largest mass shooting in US history on Feb. 14. The response of survivors has been one of the most overwhelmingly persistent. Emma González, a senior at Stoneman Douglas and one of the most well known survivors due to her moving speeches, has publicly spoken against the current state of gun regulations and implored voters to work to ensure the tightening of gun laws in order to prevent future shootings.

Aurora Lomanto, a junior at PRHS, said, “I have extreme respect for the survivors of the shooting. They are pushing through their sadness and starting a revolution.”

During a speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale three days after the shooting, González stated, “We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because we are going to be the last mass shooting.” By voting to make it more difficult to obtain a gun, she believes future shootings can be easily prevented.

Senior Lily Seebart believe otherwise. “These shootings are getting blamed on guns being ‘too easy’ to get your hands on when in reality, if a person wants a gun badly enough, they will find one, no matter what laws we put in place.”

Land addressed PRHS staff in an email thread in which school safety procedures were discussed, and spoke for his students, their parents, and other teachers.

At PRHS, 68.8% of students believe that Americans should be able to own guns, while 75% would like gun regulations to be made stricter. Additionally, 62.5% of surveyed students’ families own one or more guns.

In a post-Parkland school environment, 56.3% of students are concerned about guns on campus. Geoffrey Land, dual-immersion world history teacher, spoke to this: “Many of my students are openly expressing fear and anxiety.  Many parents are expressing concern about the potential for future tragedies. We teachers are having to consider “run, hide, fight” and the possibility of confronting shooters as a part of our daily work environment.”

Despite concern among students, parents, and staff, Principal Eric Martinez reached out to the staff in an email shortly after the tragedy, and reassured them of the students’ and their own safety.

“No threats have been made, nor is there any report of imminent danger,” Martinez wrote in his address.

Staff reassurance has calmed many students, however, concerns remain. Post-Parkland, 78.1% of students are more concerned about their safety.

“I don’t think a 19 year old boy should have access to a gun that is clearly meant for mass shootings. It made me feel scared coming back to school,” one anonymous student said.

“The Parkland shooting has me honestly scared. I am a generously nervous person, but when tragedies like this happen to the most unsuspecting places, it gets me extremely on edge,” said Lomanto.

In a survey on student safety, over 78 percent of students expressed a new concern for their own safety.

In anticipation of these reactions, the hours of the school’s safety team have been increased, there has been an increased focus to keep students under close supervision, entry points to the school have been staffed with either an administrator or campus safety personnel, and more messaging on inclusion and kindness has been provided to build a positive culture that encourages students to take care of one another.

Perhaps more pressingly, the evacuation protocol in the event of a fire alarm has been changed, and teachers are trusted to make the best decision for the situation with their students’ and their own safety in mind. Pulled fire alarms have been a long-term issue at PRHS, but with the knowledge that this is what caused many classes to leave the safety of their classrooms in the Parkland shooting, the reaction to these incidents has dramatically changed. Many classes have witnessed a shift from immediate evacuation to deliberate consideration before leaving the room.

Though feelings of anxiety and stress are unlikely to fade away overnight, Martinez reiterates, “School safety is a primary responsibility of any school. We will continue to communicate our expectations, revisit strategies to allow for continuous improvement with safety protocols, and engage in practice drills,”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Crimson Newsmagazine

Your donation will support the student journalists of Paso Robles High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Crimson Newsmagazine

Comments (0)

All Crimson Newsmagazine Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *