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The Student News Site of Brophy College Preparatory

Brophy Roundup

The Student News Site of Brophy College Preparatory

Brophy Roundup

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Staff Editorial: School shootings are an issue that cannot be avoided anymore


Photo by Alex Gross ’24

According to the Washington Post, there have been 366 school shootings since April 20th, 1999, making the 21st century one of the least safe and dangerous for students. And we are only a quarter of the way in. 

School shootings are no longer an ignorable problem, they are here and they are now. USA Today reports that 6000 students were either killed or injured in 2022. That’s a 100% increase from 2014. 

However, schools don’t have an open environment to talk about school shootings. In fact, while for good reason, Brophy has to hide its protocols from the students. 

It appears to the student body that there has been minimal development regarding an active shooter drill. The 55-page student-parent handbook has no description or mention of an “active shooter drill.” There is also no mention of who to call if such events happen.

We stay in our classrooms whenever fire drills ring, waiting for an administrator to give us further instructions. While this is a concrete example of change and an effective safety precaution, we as students are continuously kept out of the loop with events that may be detrimental to our safety. 

However, Brophy does this to keep its students safe. In a study done by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, half of all school shootings are committed by present or former students of the given school.  If Brophy gave out the information to the students or parents, it could backfire and the shooter could use that to their advantage. 

For example, in 2018, a former student of Stoneman Douglas High School pulled the fire alarm knowing students would escape to the parking lot. He then committed what is now known as the Parkland school massacre. 

It is our belief that Brophy and other schools around the nation should adopt a way to talk to students about how to be safe if something were to ever happen while also keeping security in mind. This could be done through one of Brophy’s community of concern nights. 

Community of concern nights are mainly used to address the topic of substance abuse, however, it should also incorporate stresses that the average student may be experiencing, such as the thought of a school shooting. Pew Research Center conducted a survey in which 57% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 are worried about the possibility of a school shooting. This percentage is too high to ignore, and it must be addressed. 

Students all around the nation are worried about school shootings, so much so that elevated anxiety levels and fear among students have been linked to the threat. Erika Felix, PhD, says students often are “on high alert, constantly planning their escape route if violence breaks out in public,” (American Psychological Association). 

Brophy should make light of these numbers as early as possible, not when another tragic event takes place. They should promote our on-site psychologist,  Dr. Colleen Feeney

Dr. Feeney is available to any student on campus,  as long as parents sign a consent form for further meetings with her. We believe she is an underused resource in our community, and most students are directed to her after a problem has occurred and not prior to.

It is rare for a school to have their own designated psychologist, as the U.S. Department of Education states that most school psychologists serve an area of 2-3 schools. With so many different schools, those psychologists are unable to foster the needed professional relationships with the students they are serving. Since Dr. Feeney is employed by Brophy only, she can address the community personally as she is possibly more aware of the demographics. 

Although we understand school shootings are an extremely difficult topic to approach, the Brophy community cannot outright ignore it. In the student-parent handbook it says “Open dialogue is critical to this partnership, and the school welcomes conversations.”  Yes, we have open dialogue conversation about substance abuse with community concern nights, and discussions about sexual assault during moral courage day, however, not addressing one of the most daunting topics of modern America is negligent. We call for Brophy, for the sake of its student population, to address the fear of a school shooting occuring on our campus. 

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