Staff, students react to national gun incidents

On Nov. 30, a gunman in Oxford, Mich., opened fire killing four of the students at Oxford High School, and afterward, some struggle with anxiety. 

Sophomore Karlee Stewart was concerned about continuing in person school after the tragic deaths in Oxford. “Returning to school on Wednesday (the day after the shooting) was hard because it made me realize that shootings really can happen anywhere at any time.” 

Coming to school with these thoughts in the back of her mind has raised her anxiety significantly. Stewart said, “I hope in time, my anxiety will calm down, and I can go to school anxiety free, but that fear will always be in the back of my mind.” 

A couple weeks after the Oxford tragedy, on December 17, a new trend was started on the social media platform, TikTok. Dec. 17 was designated as National Shooting up School Day. Schools all over the country were impacted by this threat. Some schools canceled class, but others, like Cedar Falls High School, decided to continue classes with extra security. 

Although school was not canceled, counselor Susan Langan said there was a noticeable decrease in attendance. She said that if a direct threat was placed to Cedar Falls, there are safety committees who practice drills and protocols that are set in place. “I have good confidence in our administrators, and we would have followed the protocols,” she said. “Our number one priority is getting kids out of the building and to safety.” 

Langan said student safety is very important to the staff at Cedar Falls High School, and it’s important to remember that everyone can assist with this. “The most important thing is making sure kids are reporting things out of order. We would rather hear it and check it out than not hear it and a tragedy happen.”

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