The snap chat message read:
For all my friends at Graham Central High School
I’m really not
Shoot up of
Graham Central High School
So don’t go
I don’t know
Go to school
At your own risk
When teachers arrived at school, the next morning, they saw police squad cars swamping the parking lot and combing through the school. No information was given to the teachers by the administration, the principal, Mr. Golden thought it best to divert real answers as best he could. Those few students who did not get the snap chat message arrived at school only to be locked down in their classrooms while the search continued for guns.
The students who had their weapons concealed could not keep them concealed for long. As the itch to disclose their weapons grew and the power that one feels when he holds a firearm swelled in them, they succumbed to the itch, took out their weapons and recorded themselves on school property – and as most kids will do, they posted the recording on social media. Now the police knew their suspects, made the arrests and charged the students with possession of firearms on school grounds.
Mr. Golden, after many hours and even days, informed his staff via email that there was never a danger on the school grounds and that police had not found firearms at Graham Central High School but there was enough evidence to charge two students with being in possession of a firearm on campus. He continued to explain that the snap chat message was a hoax.
This was the second questionable incident at Graham Central High School in one month that revealed a major problem that we have in our schools. In short, our children are not safe. Parents are insulted with the appearance of one police squad car and metal detectors at the main entrance. But when there are no working cameras, no efforts to keep the surveillance equipment updated, and a lack of well trained security personnel, we should ask ourselves about our commitment as parents, elected officials, and society. How committed are we to our children? Who is to blame if not ourselves for the access that fifteen and sixteen year old kids have to firearms. Who is to blame when there are so many unprotected doors at a school where children can come and go as they please? Who do we blame for administrations and administrators like Mr. Golden, who not only disregards his obligation to ensure the safety of the children but also downplays the severity of the danger to his staff and students? It seems to me that with all the media attention towards the many mass murderers and shootings where innocent people are killed that our elected officials would have better solutions to these problems.
There is no secret that if it had not been for students who had read and spread the Snap Chat message, there could have been many lost lives that morning on September 28th. If parents had not made calls to the police officers, what tragedy might have occurred? When I think about this problem, I think about more than the students. I think about those teachers who are placed in harms way. I think of those few dedicated teachers who would have sacrificed their lives for other people’s children and gladly taken a bullet because that would have been the noble thing to do. These are the same people who endure the some of the most grueling working conditions, given the dozens of snares, traps, and barriers placed upon them by administrators and elected officials with barely enough money to live a middle-class lifestyle. But I imagine in all of this, that the answer is clear; it is up to the community to develop a moral standard higher than what we have right now before any of these things will change.