Letter to the Editor | Schools must be safe for children to prosper


By Iris Medina

My biggest concern when I was in middle school, and even in high school, was whether I had completed my homework due that day. Even having attended public schools my entire life, not once did I go to school worried there was going to be a massive incident of violence or a shooting.

After the lockdown that happened at Central High School in Champaign on Friday, Dec. 3 and hearing about more recent school shootings in the last few weeks, I have come to question my own safety when I enter these buildings — buildings that are supposed to make children feel safe and foster learning.

I have spoken with high school counselors who themselves are sometimes afraid to come to work. If adults don’t feel safe coming into these buildings, how can we expect children to feel safe and ready to learn? Something needs to change.

This is something that has become normalized in the media, and it’s time to stop sensationalizing these stories and see them for the problem that they are. I imagine a future where my own kids can walk into a building without metal detectors, knowing that as long as they are within the walls of education and learning, they are safe.

Iris is a graduate student in Social Work.

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