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Proposal: School Safety

  1. School shootings are happening more and more each year. My high school has open classrooms, and it would be easy for a shooter to come into the school and shoot more people, because there aren't any walls to protect them. Schools are starting to prepare for the next school shooting by giving the students bulletproof backpacks, clear backpacks, and active shooting drills. 

The Issue

Problem Defined

The problem we are trying to solve is school safety. More and more of mass shootings are occurring around the world, and we should be focusing more on making the schools safer for the children, staff, and faculty. 

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School shootings are happening more and more each yearMORE

The classrooms are open, so that makes it easier for a shooter to come in to the classrooms, and shoot more people. It will also make it easier for the shooter, because to get the students and teachers to the closed areas, they have to go in hallways, so if the shooter is in the hallway, then they will be able to shoot them in an open area. 

Resource officers are limited to schoolsMORE

At my high school, there was only one resource officer that was the officer for the elementary, middle, and high school. He is also the resource officer at three other schools that are 20 minutes away. If something happened at the middle school, and he had to be there then something happened at the high school, then he could not be at two places at once. If something happened at one of the other schools while he was dealing with something at my high school, he would not have been able to do anything. 

There should be more active shooter drills that involve the students not just the staffMORE

In the county I live in, they used to do active shooter drills, but an incident happened with a teacher during it and she is suing the school system, and they do not do it anymore. I believe they should continue doing it with the students, because then the students know what to do if they are ever in that situation. If only the staff know what to do, then they will not be able to instruct the 20-30 kids they have in class, because they are scared and running all over the place trying to survive. 

Statistics on School Shootings Over the Last 20 Years

Jordan Rubio -

It is a graph of school shootings that have happened over the past 20 years, and it shows the drastic increase over the years. 

Go deeper
2018 was by far the worst year on record for gun violence in schools

German Lopez - (Invalid date)


This article explains, and gives a graph to show how many school shootings have happened, and how it drastically increased in 2018. It also explains how we should change the gun laws to make it harder to get guns. Some states are trying harder than others to change the law. 


AnneMarie chose this specific issue, because her father teaches at her high school, and there were no walls around the classrooms, and it would be very easy for a shooter to come into the building, and shoot more people rather than it being a closed classroom. 

AnneMarie Kinman
Diane McMahon
Associate Professor of Sociology - Allegany College of Maryland
I am a sociology professor at Allegany College of Maryland, which is located in Cumberland, MD. I also work as the Faculty Director of the Service Learning and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Center at the college. I have worked in a variety of professions in my past that focuses on helping the homeless. Most recently I was the director of a peace and justice organization in Pittsburgh.

I am a great supporter of the work of TheChisel.com because it helps raise up topics that students and community members can work on together, in a bi-partisan manner, to address.

The Solution

Proposed Actions
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Have active shooter drills and proper teaching of protocol with staff and studentsMORE

If the students and staff have a better understanding on protocol, then it will limit the amount of people freaking out because they know what to do. If there are active shooter drills with the students, then if it ever happened then they know what to do, because they were in the same situation. 

Put walls around the open classroomsMORE

If there are walls around all the classrooms, then that will limit the entry of the shooter, and it will secure more students and teachers. It will not risk the students running in the halls trying to get into a closed area, where they are in an open area to potentially get shot. 

Increase the amount of resource officers at each schoolMORE

My high school had one resource officer that was assigned to the elementary, middle, and high school. All three of the schools are in walking distant, but before he was assigned to two other schools that are 15 and 20 minutes away from my high school. Now, he is only assigned to the three schools. 

Give the students proper protective wearMORE

Some school districts gave all the students clear, and bulletproof backpacks so people can see what is in their backpacks, and if there is a shooter then their backpacks can protect them. 

Expected Results
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A hope for more school resource officersMORE

More resource officers would mean they do not have to cover as much ground in the county, and the students and staff would feel safer. They will be able to teach the students and staff the correct protocol if a shooter came into the building. 


There are 42 schools in the county where I am from. There are ten resource officers in the whole county. There is a shortage of resource officers, so there is a $5,000 signing on bonus. The starting off salary is $40,000. With the sign on bonus it would cost $1,440,000 to get a resource officer in every school in the county. 

The Conversation

5 months ago
In elementary, middle, and high school, I was in a school that had open classrooms. When I was in elementary and middle school I did not think of the open classrooms being a problem. I only thought the problem would be not being able to focus because I could hear the other classes. Then as I got to high school, I became more aware of what was happening in the world. There have been more school shootings now more than there ever has been. The open classrooms started to scare more people and made people think if a shooter was ever in the building then we would all be dead, because we do not have any protection. There were limited closed classrooms, and to get to those, we would have to pass hallways, and some classes it took longer to get there. Crossing an open hallway was a bigger risk, because if the shooter was in that hallway, then they would have an open shot for many kids and students. In the county I am from, there is a resource officer shortage, and there are only ten officers in the county, but there are 42 schools in the county. The resource officer that was at my school was in charge of the elementary, middle, and high school, and he was in charge of another elementary, middle, and high school that was 20 minutes away, and another elementary school that was also 20 minutes away.

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The Proposal School Safety needs your vote by May 28, 2020.
Time remaining: 2 months

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