Students and staff speak out about school safety and gun control

Zainab Razzaq, Reporter

As most are aware, it’s important for students to feel safe when walking into school. Recent events, including the past few years, have shown how vital it is for gun control. Unfortunately, school shootings have been occurring too often and action needs to be taken. Although, Graham High School hasn’t undergone a serious school shooting, threats have been made. Making the students more aware of situations can help avoid a traumatic event such as previous ones in Parkland, L.A., Prescott, and Memphis. 

Teachers and staff felt inclined to speak about the subject and educate kids on the topic. Mrs. Emily Cook, a school counselor, shared her opinions on where guns stand in relation to school. “I don’t think guns should be on campus, but I think I’m comfortable with the resource officer because it’s his job to handle that,” Mrs. Cook said. Mrs. Emily Cook stressed, “I do try my best to maintain safety, and even check people who try to come into the school along with talking to students. Even though I feel safe in this school, it still makes me scared when I see these things happen because it’s real,” Mrs. Cook mentioned, “Tazewell County is trying to get more guidance counselors because the source of the problem are students that are unhappy and stressed within the school, and I think that’s important.”

Mr. Lee Brown, a history teacher, shared his views on the topic as well. “I think there’s a lot of built up stress here, and that’s the kind of situation where guns tend to be used,” Mr. Brown said, “I don’t think guns should belong in the school because of that risk.” He added, “They think we’re being attacked because we’re a gun free zone, but in actuality it’s a student inside the school doing the damage. I would say I feel safe in this school, but I don’t think I’d need a gun to feel safe either,” Mr. Brown mentioned. He also thinks it would be a good idea for the school to have some self-defense course to prepare students for outside of school situations.  

Mrs. Courtney Sheets, a government/history teacher, extended her views outside of the school. “I think for guns to be allowed in school, even for teachers, should be a decision made with the entire community,” Mrs. Sheets said. “Because of my background, I had a hunter course in school, and I think it could be a good option to have a hunter safety course.” Mrs. Debra Brewster, an English teacher, said. “I don’t think guns should be allowed in school at all, but if they had to, I’d prefer highly trained officers to handle them. Even looking at other countries that don’t allow this kind of access to guns, they don’t nearly have as many shootings as we do, and I think it’d be a good idea to change that,” Debra said.  

Students are even more encouraged to speak about the subject because it’s affecting them directly. Allison Crist (11) explained, “Guns shouldn’t belong in the school, even with the possibility of a threat, another gun can even cause more of a threat because we don’t know the intentions behind the scenes. I think we can only prepare so much because most of the time the shooter is someone inside of the school and they know the lockdown drills,” Allison said. Makayla Hofmann (12) said, “I would feel safer knowing that there could be an officer covering certain parts of the building because that could make us a little more prepared. I think the school should prepare us for outside purposes because if a student is walking in the parking lot or in the new gyms, the situation is a lot more different,” Makayla said. Christian Yates (11) thought that guns should be allowed in school because that’s how a person stops another guy with a gun. “We have the right to it so, we should use this way to protect ourselves,” Christian said.  

At the end of the day, students and teachers are just looking for reassurance and trust within the school and community. We all want to feel safe and prepared, and school should be a place where we feel those things. In the future, students and teachers are looking for a change in gun reform to help protect our lives in this country and in this school.