The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day leaves the nation asking the same questions they’ve asked too many times before: what can we do to prevent this from happening again?
Keene State College needs to ask itself the same question and give their students and staff a clear answer.
The Equinox’s Abbygail Vasas wrote an article titled “Assessing KSC’s emergency protocol” in October of 2017.
In that article, Vasas wrote, “This system sends emergency messages to members of the campus community, Crossman said, they could contain information about the situation such as, ‘What’s going on, where it’s happening and advice on what to do, such as flee the area or hide.’”
Having a well-known system to follow in case of an emergency on campus, such as a school shooting, would put a lot of student’s minds at ease.
Just because the KSC campus seems like a safe place does not mean it always will be.
In case of a fire, students go through fire drills in their dorms, so how come KSC does not practice lockdown drills in case there is a gunman on campus?
Every four years, students come and go through the gates of this campus, and some of these students have never heard the emergency alarm that sounds from on top of the Spaulding Gymnasium when a lockdown is in progress.
Unfortunately, sometimes people do not take action until it is too late.
Instead of instilling intense safety drills and precautions after a tragedy takes place, practice safety beforehand so no one has to be hurt in this type of situation again.
Not taking action in response to a problem of this magnitude is unacceptable at this point.
There have been several school shootings already this year.
Who is to say where the next one will take place?
It is hard to properly define what a school shooting technically is.
Some people say there have been up to 18 this year while others say there have only been six.
Either way, the number is too high.
KSC needs to take action to ensure that this campus will not be the next to suffer from this tragedy.
Although KSC does have a Emergency Notification System, we can do more than just send a text message and turn on a siren.
Receiving a warning through a text may seem like a good idea, but if an active shooter was to come on to campus and students were out on Appian Way, where would they go?
Obviously, you are supposed to run away and seek shelter, but shouldn’t there be a designated safe space that students are aware of?
Or what if you are in a building that is mostly windows such as the Zorn Dining Commons or the Lloyd P. Young Student Center?
Where should these students seek shelter so they are not completely vulnerable to the threat of a gunman?
One step KSC could take to make students feel safer on campus is to start discussing these issues during orientation.
Having regular campus lockdown drills, like we have fire drills, would clear up confusion students might have about how to behave during that circumstance.
Also similar to fire drills, more maps should be present with a clear outline of where students can go during an emergency.
Another precautionary step would be installing metal detectors in the entrances of each building. Yes, installing that many metal detectors may be pricey, but what is worth more: the well being of students or the money it would take to install them?
In a world where school shootings seem to be the new normal, KSC needs to think about the safety of their students.
You can never be too prepared when it comes to preventing a tragedy, especially a school shooting.
Creating campus-wide guidelines where students would know where to go and what to do in case of that event would be beneficial to everyone.
Not only would students feel safer, parents would not have to worry about their child as much.
In a life or death situation, students should know what to do to ensure they will emerge safely.