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Students react to Parkland shooting

•Lauren Theisen

•Lauren Theisen


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Senior Madison Burkhalter

“My initial reaction was that I couldn’t believe another school shooting was happening again, I was in shock. It made me feel very sad for another tragedy. It’s very sad what the school, students and faculty have to go through and how they have to rebuild from that. My thoughts are that there needs to be more regulations and that there just needs to be more awareness on how to be better equipped so that this doesn’t happen again. I do feel that our school is prepared if we were ever in that situation and I do feel very safe at school with all the security and faculty.”


Junior Claire Bauerle

“I felt disgusted and honestly scared. I feel like this shooting more than any other had a lot of students taking videos, so to watch and listen to their fear was chilling. I fully support gun control! A lot of my family members own guns and are very safe with them, but I feel no need and I’d much prefer to be without guns. Being completely honest, there’s no way to be “equipped” to deal with a school shooting, without turning the school into a prison with metal detectors and armed guards and the such. Gun control wold be much more effective.”


Sophomore Jovany Melchor

“At the point and moment when I walked into my kitchen and saw the news on the TV, I was not completely taken by surprise.  That’s the sad part about my feeling at the moment.  It had happened so much and so often, my mind had adapted to the sound of the words ‘school shooting.’  After a few minutes of letting it sink in and seeing the news reporter speak about it, it hurt to think that it could have been me.  But even if it wasn’t me, those students were the children of loving parents.  It was heartbreaking and disappointing for our society, and at that time that’s all I could think about.”

“I personally believe a civilian living in a developed country does not need an automatic firearm.  Whether that’s banning bump-stocks or just banning automatic weapons.  People can argue many reasons for all th e political views, but if there are more barriers and challenges for a person to own a firearm, they will have less of a chance of getting one…However, I don’t think they should ban firearms all at once because that would also be unfair for the people who enjoy it as a sport or have other reasons for it.  There is a middle and so this needs to be discussed between our politicians because ignoring this problem will not lead to anything.  Therefor, it boils down to whether it’s worth restricting functionalities of guns to save the lives of innocent students and civilians, and I believe it is definitely worth it.”

“I do not feel 100 percent sure that our school could prevent zero to few casualties in the case of school shootings.  The easiness to walk into the building with a firearm is completely way too easy…It truly doesn’t have to be a mastermind to do it, and that is what is frightening to me.  The school does have security and cameras at all doors, and hopefully it adds a layer of security, but it still relatively could most definitely happen, and that is why I don’t think Hersey is prepared for this scenario.”

“Our administrators, I like to believe, are good people and intelligent people.  The precautions that could be taken to make our school more safe for students have many factors that play into them.  Suggestions could include to add more security to the public areas, or train each security guard for a situation of this type…Our administrators could decide to the best of their ability to determine the increase in budget for the security of the school.  When doing this, they could take into consideration students’ opinions on the different aspects of security and make sure that teachers and staff give their opinion on the topic as well.”

“As a school who has forums and likes to discuss controversial topics in a respectful manner, we should do more about this situation to protect our few years of learning.  And not only the problem at the local scale, but on the national level as well because we are literally the future of America.”


Junior Laura Zak

“When I found out about the Parkland shooting, I initially felt really confused that someone could do this and angry that this keeps happening. I was also just really devastated that other kids just like me lost their lives in a place that should’ve been so safe for them. I think that gun control is really important because so many people have died unnecessarily due to guns. I feel like this could have been prevented with more gun laws.”

“I don’t feel like our school is as equipped as we could be to deal with potential school shootings. While we’ve had lockdown drills, I think more could be done to ensure that people know what to do if they suspect that anything might happen or what to do in case a shooter did enter our school. I think a way to make things safer would be to have more discussions in school regarding what to do in different situations if a shooter was to enter our building, so that we can all feel as prepared as we can.”


Senior Clare Oneil

“When I found out Parkland had a school shooting, I was absolutely heartbroken. I think being a teenager in high school, this shooting specifically really impacted me because it made me relate to the kids that had to go through something so horrible. I think that something needs to be done about guns in our country because I feel as if there is not enough regulation on who should be able to buy a gun and also which guns should be sold.”

“I think of our school as a safe place and I think a lot of my teachers have addressed what we would do in a potential situation that has made me feel more comfortable. I think we can always improve in safety of schools whether it be security or ID checking in the building. I think Hersey overall does this pretty well. No matter what political views you hold, we all need to unite and stop school shootings. Too many innocent kids of all ages have died because of this concept and it’s absolutely horrible to think about. I can’t imagine what these kids have gone through and all my thoughts and prayers go to the victims and their families.”


Senior Lily Buchen

“When I found out about the Parkland shooting, I was really angry but not surprised. It seems like things just keep happening over and over, and people keep calling for change, but the government isn’t doing anything. I think that the 2nd amendment has no place in today’s society. It’s based of 18th century guns and ideas, but I think we should start with stricter laws that prohibit assault rifles and other military grade weapons that citizens have no business buying, and work our way up from there. I don’t think any school is truly equipped for a shooting, you can practice all you want but unless you turn schools into the equivalent of jail cells, there’s no way to always be fully prepared. Schools shouldn’t have to change to protect children, laws should.”

“I think administrators have done all in their power to make Hersey a safe environment. I think we need to get over political divides and petty arguments about guns and look at the big picture. Something needs to change, and I think it’s obvious that the first thing that needs to be examined is the guns. Look at Australia, they had one mass shooting, implemented gun control, and haven’t had one since. We need to get over our American egocentrism and the association between guns and individuality, and realize there are better ways to protect ourselves and our children.”


Senior Colin Russell

“My initial reaction to the Parkland shooting was that of extreme anger. The amount of deaths is flat out sad and a waste of precious life. I am staunchly against gun control, however I believe that those likely to commit school shootings should be institutionalized. And groups likely to commit crimes with guns should have to buy extra permits. I do not feel that school is prepared, since (to my knowledge) there is only one person who has a firearm here. This is a big school and lots of students are in crowded rooms, it could make for a disaster if a shooting were to occur. My suggestions would be to try to scale back the amount of students in a classroom and maybe give the hall monitors something to defend themselves with, like tasers.”


Senior Annie Hermanson

“Obviously I was really sad because there was a significant amount of lives lost but then as details came out about the shooter and that he was 19 and has depression I was just plain angry. I think there needs to be stricter regulations because in my opinion no 18 year old should own an assault weapon, a weapon designed for combat. I understand why people want to own them for self defense and that’s fine but I think the age and background checks need to be more strict. I’m not sure if I feel safe at school. I know we have security guards and a police officer so I think it would be hard for someone to just come in, so I feel safe in sense. I honestly don’t know. I think we’re as safe as we can get because I don’t think teachers should be armed.”


Senior Justyna Stukin

“When I first heard about the Parkland shooting, I felt my heart sink. As I kept getting updates and the victim count kept going up, it made me angry that it was so easy for a person to harm so many others. All in all, I was stunned and upset. Personally, I think gun control is very important. I’m not an expert, but I think that there should be a better way to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. I would like to believe that we’re safe here, but the Parkland shooting made me question our preparations. To me, it seems that no school can be really be safe unless something is done at a higher level. I don’t know how much administrators can do to ensure safety at school. I think that change has to come from our politicians.”

“I just want to reiterate the importance of this movement as a whole. So many teenagers across the country are showing that they are politically aware and they are willing to stand up for their beliefs. We are the next generation of voters, so it’s important for us to participate in such powerful movements so that we can understand different viewpoints and make informed decisions.”

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