Op-Ed

After gun incident, Henry Clay students could take a stand. Instead, too many slept in.

By Hannah Faulkner

Extra steps taken to ensure high school students' safety

Principal Paul Little Jr., of Lexington's Henry Clay High School detailed Thursday the extra security measures the school has taken or considered following the school shootings in Western Kentucky and Florida. A student carrying a loaded gun was d
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Principal Paul Little Jr., of Lexington's Henry Clay High School detailed Thursday the extra security measures the school has taken or considered following the school shootings in Western Kentucky and Florida. A student carrying a loaded gun was d

I didn’t feel brave coming to school today. It wasn’t as if I was taking a stand for my high school or community. All I did on March 2 was get up and come to school. Everyone does that. But not today. Because a lot of people didn’t feel “safe” enough to come to school today. Most classes featured numbers in the single digits. What changed? What made HC into this desolate wasteland?

On March 1, a boy brought a gun to school. By second hour most people knew the situation. After third hour, it began to sink in. People began to report other threats, many of which were rumors without credibility. Because of these rumors, a lot of students began to leave. All of this because a gun was taken away before school even started.

Then, the aftermath. The Friday after. The emptiest I’ve ever seen HC. It makes me a little mad, actually. That so many people took the rumors and ran with it. It makes me mad that people who knew that only one gun was found and confiscated on campus March 1 are making a three-day weekend out of it. As if it were a snow day or a holiday. It’s offensive — not to me, but to those students and teachers who have been through a legitimate danger.

School shootings are a real thing, and yesterday could have turned into something. But it did not. In other places, however, people actually got hurt and died. That’s why HC’s one gun is being blown way out of proportion. We are less than a month away from what happened on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Fla. We have all seen the activism from some of the Parkland students, and that is very different from yelling at superintendents.

It isn’t brave to be at school today, and staying home isn’t playing it safe. Staying home, for the most part, is making a mockery of something that is a real problem in America. HC students are using what could be a real tragedy to their advantage.

Yes, there are students who stayed home because they actually felt threatened at school, but more than likely students didn’t come because they didn’t have to. No, I am not brave because I came to school today. Today is like every other day. HC is a safe school, and people are working hard to make it safer.

Unfortunately, school shootings will probably keep happening. The problem isn’t going to be solved by spreading rumors and publishing confusion. The problem isn’t going to be solved by staying home.

The problem is going to be solved by students, like those in Parkland, who band together to make a change rather than accepting things as they are. Those students are taking a stand; those students are being brave. HC’s students are sleeping in.

Hannah Faulkner is a senior writer from the Devil’s Advocate, Henry Clay’s student-run newspaper.

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