Cory Jennings-DuBois | News Editor
On September 21, at roughly 7:45 am, Windham High was placed in a lockdown, and Eastern Connecticut State University was placed into a “Shelter in Place”. This was the first Shelter in Place of our 2022-2023 school year, but unfortunately, authorities believe that it most likely will not be our last.
Chief Paul Hussey of the Windham Police Department said in a press release that “This is the third threat against a public school in Connecticut in two days”. When adding up those numbers on a bigger scale, that means that there are just under 50 threats made on Connecticut Public Schools monthly. Schools are meant to be a safe haven for kids- whether that be from problematic home lives or just a place they can be surrounded by their peers to release the stresses children have put on them. No child should ever have to fear for their safety, let alone while they are in a school.
The press release did not state exactly what the threat on Windham High was, but they did announce that it was an active, imminent threat that needed to be addressed immediately. Words and whispers traveled around Eastern Connecticut State University that there was bullets and guns involved, and while that would not be surprising considering the problems with gun control our country has today, the involvement of a gun was never confirmed.
Threats on public schools are too common and too alarming to be brushed to the back burner. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, in 2019, students who were in between the ages of 12 and 18 experienced 764,600 victimizations within their place of study. These victimizations include but are not limited to threats of a shooter, an active shooter, sexual assault, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. All of these threats are incredibly serious, and never something anyone, let alone a child, should have to go through.
But nevertheless, these issues keep arising, and children have been trained since they stepped foot into their schools on how to handle them. Lockdowns have been a method of survival taught to children all around the United States for decades, and became much more prominent since the heartbreaking events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School only 10 years ago. It seems that the more seriously everyone takes these threats and precautions, the more trouble arises.
In 2018, there was a total of 122 school shootings, and this year, it seems to be on the decline. With only 30 school shootings that resulted in injuries or death, lockdown drills seem to be working in the favor of the safety of children around the country.
But the country as a whole should not have to rely on these drills and precautions to keep the youth of the U.S safe- these threats should not be happening in the first place. Somethings are unavoidable: a little boy might get curious about a knife his father left on the kitchen table and bring it to show his friends, or a high school student might spread a rumor about a potential threat, not knowing it could escalate and cause panic. But those instances are incredibly rare when it comes to the causes of these events.
The United States needs to stop looking around for answers on how to solve the ever-prominent issues of threats on schools nationwide and actually begin to find a solution. Hearing those statistics from the Chief Officer of Windham should put everyone into action when it comes to looking for a way to stop these events from happening.
The children of Windham High were dismissed for the day and thankfully there was no physical harm caused to any of these kids. Eastern Connecticut State University resumed classes around 12pm, but everyone was still shaken up by the morning’s events, and rightfully so. Threats on schools are an incredibly prevalent issue, and everyone should be doing their part when it comes to eliminating the frequency of these events, and potentially eliminating the threats as a whole.