#2. why can’t i go to school without being afraid that i’m going to get shot up?

Waiting for word from students parents and family gather at Coral Springs Drive and the Sawgrass Expressway just south of the campus following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

no one ever thinks it would happen to them, but it still ends up happening over and over in this country. school shootings and gun control are a very touchy subject with some people, because there are so many factors that affect how we view each side of the argument. no matter what your views are, pretty much everyone can agree that a school should be a safe place where kids can learn and focus on their learning. the public school system isn’t perfect, but my therapist tells me that almost everyone who comes in to her office at least mentions their fears and anxieties around school shootings because how real it all seems. i want to focus on this area because of how important it is in this day and age.
what i know:
– its not talked about enough and i don’t see many people protesting it at this point
– there is a lot of discourse on it because of people who want to keep their guns for whatever reason
– the true crime community on tumblr romanticizes these people because they find murderers hot
– there have been over 250 shootings in the u.s. and none in italy
– at one point the government decided that it would be a good idea for teachers to have guns too, so if a kid whipped out a glock and started shooting, they could shoot back to solve the problem
– school shootings can be avoided in many cases (shooters tend to express their intentions before acting on it)
– most shooters are kids & have attended the school
questions i have on it:
– what can be done?
– what are the exact statistics on it? (how many people are affected, etc.)
– what social groups are most affected (race, gender, etc.)
– why are there so many shootings in the u.s. compared to others?
– where in the country has the least/ most shootings?
– why don’t people care?
shootings are closely connected to me because i know someone who’s school got shot up and she says it was one of the scariest moments of her life. it’s scary to know that anyone could die at any moment because people care more about their guns than the children who just want to graduate. school is stressful enough without the constant fear that you could be literally murdered by anyone in the classroom.

Camila Van Order Gonzalez

5 Responses to “#2. why can’t i go to school without being afraid that i’m going to get shot up?

  • Do you know of the organization, Students Demsnd Action for Gun Sense in America? Chapters are being founded at schools and universities across the country. Their mission is to end senseless gun violence and more immediately making sure people are registered to vote and vote for Gun Sense candidates.

  • “….no matter what your views are, pretty much everyone can agree that a school should be a safe place where kids can learn and focus on their learning.”

    Dear Camila,
    Thanks for asking good questions about school safety – for expressing your personal connection to this issue as well as large-scale issues and topics. The perspectives and knowledge of young people in school are much needed by those who are making decisions.

    Dixie Goswami
    BLTN NextGen

  • Camilla,
    This is a great post. You are clearly very interested in the subject, and want to learn more. It’s great how you showed the personal connection and backed up your viewpoint. I agree that this is a very important issue in America, and one we should be discussing heavily. It’s been shown by the events in Parkland and how the students rose to the occasion how much of a difference young people can make. I’m wondering how you want to inspire change in this issue, and how does it relate to Vermont?

  • Abigail Bartell
    3 years ago


    I care.
    I am a high school teacher, and a mom, and I care.
    I am a teacher trained in the ALICE protocol (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) and I know what I should do (but it’s $%*^)@# terrifying!)
    I am a teacher who would fight for my kids (my kids being YOU, and hope that my own kid’s teachers would do the same).
    I am scared, and I care.
    I heard you say, at the kickoff in Middlebury, that teachers don’t care. This made me really sad, because some of us do- deeply.
    Keep asking questions. Keep demanding answers. Be loud. Be strong.
    If you haven’t checked it out, maybe listen to VPR’s program “Jolted” http://projects.vpr.net/jolted


  • I was very moved by your post and agree with Abigail as I, too, work here at MUHS and went through the ALICE training prior to the opening of school. It was terrifying as my colleagues (who are also my friends) and I went through the ordeal of an imaginary shooter potentially being in our building. As one who got “shot” by a pretend bullet, I was scared to death and had to live through that whole process. I found myself wondering what it would’ve been like for my family, i.e. what would they have felt like if they found out there was an active shooter here at our school and learning that I had been shot (for real)?

    I have taken great comfort in the activism of the students in Parkland and other supporting organizations. I hope you will search them out and see how you might become involved or learn more about their activities.

    I appreciated your post, thank you!

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *