One of my most vivid memories I have of high school was sitting in my Spanish 2 class freshman year and the girl behind me tapping on my shoulder to warn me not to come to school tomorrow, as there was a shooting planned. The girl did not say it in her usual, lighthearted tone but instead sounded extremely serious. I had become friends with her after being assigned seats next to each other and I had yet to see her in an austere mood. This was unlike anything I had been told since I began high school, and as intense of a statement as it was, I almost did not take it seriously. Turns out, it was one of the most serious ‘warnings’ I have ever received.
The high school I attended, Myers Park, is a huge public high school- the largest in North Carolina containing nearly three thousand students. Like any other public high school, there were fights that made having security guards crucial. There was a history of shootings at my high school, the most recent one was at the homecoming dance in the eighties, which explained why we no longer had a homecoming dance. With the last shooting being so many years ago, the threat of this occurring again crossed very few students’ minds.
It turned out that the reason for the planned shooting was gang related. A boy in Charlotte that attended a high school nearby had recently been murdered. The gang the boy was apart of threatened to come to Myers Park and get their revenge with a shooting.
I am not exactly certain how true that story is, but it was the one I was told, and to no surprise, the Myers Park administration took the information in all seriousness to be safe. I came to school the next day because as my English teacher said, it was “the safest day to come to school”. The quad was filled with policemen on motorcycles, security was at every door and there were little to no students as many had taken advantage of the rumor as an excuse to skip school.
Above is an image of the quad of Myers Park High School. Now imagine it covered with security guards, policemen on motorcycles and very few students. Credit: Google Images
Luckily, no shooting occurred at Myers Park High school that day, or the next or to this day. However, shootings at schools have continued to be an issue whether gang related or not, where innocent children and teens are killed. While most public high schools have security guards, should there be more and should there be security guards as early as elementary school? Just recently there was a shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino where an innocent student was killed. Then of course there was the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting among many others. Although the shootings may not occur that often, the results are tragic and something that should be prevented at all costs, meaning maybe there should be heightened security at all schools.