One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic is that school shootings have drastically dropped. In fact, 2021 has seen no school shootings so far and 2020 had a significant reduction in school-related violence.
Perhaps this reprieve is due to a lack of in-person learning and students being outside of traditional education environments, but is this be a long-term trend? Or, is it the eye of the storm, when students gradually return to schools and colleges and school shootings make a comeback?
To gain a better perspective, let’s take a number of causes for concern that are developing in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how lawmakers are taking action and how schools can bolster their security measures with Nightlock’s line of security products.
School Shootings in 2021: Causes for Concern
As stated, schools are in a grace period in regards to school shootings. With students learning remotely and outside of a classroom environment,
- Violence may not be taking place on the grounds of a school, but it may have shifted to other areas. Gun-related crime is rising across the United States, with young people particularly troubled demographic. Very often, online socialization may lead to students “settling the score” away from the watchful eyes of teachers, staff, and security personnel.
- A number of studies are pointing to how remote learning negatively impacts students’ mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to reduced socialization in schools, young students are reporting higher prescribed usage of antidepressants to cope with lockdowns and remote learning. Though an effective means of offsetting a student’s negative emotions, there have been several studies that point to these medications being correlated with violence.
- There are signs that many students are harboring aggressive feelings towards other students and are waiting for the opportunity to act out. Consider the recent example in Tampa, where a young boy was charged with making school shooting threats. What’s more alarming is that this particular incident is not the only one reported by officials this year, where two other students had made similar threats of mass violence at schools.
- Due to new social distancing concerns to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, new lockdown procedures have been established to protect against active shooters that may not be as effective as solutions pre-pandemic. This may provide an opportunity for school shooters to carry out an attack that exploits new vulnerabilities.
- Cyberbullying is on the rise due to students being confined to computers and having readily-available access to smartphones. Considering that students that experience cyberbullying are three times as likely to commit acts of violence than others, this is an alarming trend.
The Eagles Act
Due to these observable trends across the United States, many lawmakers have taken notice and stepped up their efforts to address issues before another wave of violence occurs. Lawmakers in Congress have recently reintroduced the Eagles Act, an act aimed at preventing school violence nationwide. The Eagles Act was originally proposed in the tragic school shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students were killed and 17 more were injured in 2018.
The Eagles Act is aimed at expanding the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center to have a greater focus on school violence prevention nationally. More funding for these programs also enables the National Threat Assessment Center to train more schools across the U.S. to conduct threat assessments and early interventions. If passed, the Eagles Act may be a pivotal step towards drastically reducing school shootings and violence.
Choosing Nightlock’s Line of Home Security Products for School Safety
With lawmakers taking action, it is also crucial for parents and school administrators to take action, addressing future school shootings. To do so, schools need to take action to fortify lockdowns with proven security devices designed to save lives.
As one of the most widely installed school security products in the U.S., Nightlock’s line of patented door barricades is the first-choice in protecting students and school staff from active shooters. Designed to withstand brute force attacks and prevent entry by even the most determined criminals, Nightlock door barricades are able to be deployed in seconds during lockdown procedures – which can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.