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Know the Signs

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united students

united students

Carly Osorio

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People who are at-risk of hurting themselves or others will more often than not show plenty of signs and signals before an act of violence can take place. When one doesn’t know what to look for, it can be easy for them to miss these crucial signs. They may even find themselves dismissing these signs as unimportant. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to very tragic consequences. In today’s day and age, school shootings are something that has become common in the United States. In fact, the mass shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida was the 18th school shooting of the year alone. It is important to take into account that one warning sign does not always mean a person is planning an act of violence. However, when there are many connected signs over a period of time, students definitely need to express their concerns in order to keep themselves and their environment safe. A student named Jack Butler (12), said that “we can never know what may happen, but we can see the signs first hand.” Bringing concerns to the attention of an adult could potentially save a life. When you think that the person is heading down a pathway towards violence or self-harm, it is important to report it.

By paying attention to the signs, students have the power to intervene and get help or guidance for that person. Because so many shootings have happened in schools since 2000, students have now made it a mission to bring everyone together in order to express that something should be done before any more school shootings can happen. One student, Chris Lee (12) expressed his concern saying “Sadly, we don’t know what school is next. However, reporting suspicious behavior or even unusual behavior can make all the difference.” Each year in this country, a grand total of 682 people are killed because of gun violence, 129 of these being people who are 18 years old or younger.

Another student, David Saldana (12), gave his insight saying “even though there is no guarantee any action will take place, it’s important to know that any concerns you have are not unjustified.” Teaching children and teens to recognize signs, in person and on social media, of an individual who could be a threat will be beneficial to all schools. Although it is impossible to know who may or may not be planning to hurt themselves or others, as a community it is important to inform students on how to do something that could save lives: speaking up. By doing so, schools will not only avoid things as detrimental as school shootings, but also things like suicide and bullying. Know the signs, it could truly save a life.  

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