2021: A Year For Change


America has seen a large incline over the past 20 years with school shootings. More than 240,000 American students have been present on school property when a shooter has open fired at their school, according to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

While this past year was no doubt full of hard times for all, the reality is that online learning led to fewer school shootings. “During 2020, there were only ten shootings with a total of three deaths,” according to Education Week’s 2020 School Shooting Tracker, an all-time low within the past few years.

As more schools start to transition back to in-person learning, 2021 has already brought upon America a gradual increase in school shootings. The Center of Homeland Defense and Securities K-12 School Shooting Database states that, “[the] Knoxville school shooting was the fourth school shooting of 2021 and the second fatal shooting of the year.” The Knoxville school shooting is the most recent school shooting and happened on April 12.

The return to school has led to the return of lockdown drills for the majority of schools in America. Each school has different procedures set in place to assist the students and staff in case of any safety emergency. These precautions are here to remind students that there is a plan in the chance that something might happen.

At Homestead, “there are three lockdown practices per year, one per trimester,” Monique Porter, assistant principal, said. “Teachers show a video to their students explaining the different steps they would go through if lockdown happens.”

This year due to COVID-19, students remained in their seats, going over their classroom’s specific plan based on its location in the school. “Teachers remind students that they would leave as a group,” Porter said. “These lockdown practices focus on the different safety measures in each class,” Porter said.


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