We’ve reached a rather depressing state of affairs with the news that U.S. schools are now being designed to minimise mass shooting deaths.
According to Futurism, a town in Michigan is spending $48M on updating Fruitport High School – not with a football pitch or swimming pool, but with features to help students survive.
Some of the features include curved hallways, to shorten a shooter’s line of sight, and designated “shadow zones” where students can take cover. The updates will also feature impact-resistant window coverings and a “special lockdown system” which can isolate threats with the push of a button.
Speaking to As It Happens, school superintendent Bob Szymoniak said “given the nature of our country these days, the number of school shootings that we have, and they just don’t seem to stop, it seemed responsible and appropriate for us to factor in as many security elements into the design of the building as we could.”
Later, Szymoniak said helping to build a school designed to protect students from mass shooters is “one of the saddest aspects of my career, having to come to terms with that.”
The Washington Post reports that more than 228,000 students have been exposed to gun violence since the tragic Columbine High School Shooting which claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher in 1999.
Another report from ABC News, states that there have been at least 19 deadly mass shootings in the U.S. so far in 2019.
The most recent mass shooting occurred in Texas last Saturday. The gunman killed seven people and left 25 others injured, and somehow, the state has since loosened firearm laws.
Some of the new laws allow weapons and armed marshals on school grounds, guns in foster homes, and firearms in places of worship. It’s hard to fathom how this kind of legislation could pass just hours after so many lives had been lost to someone wielding a gun.
It’s also difficult to shrug off the fact that schools are now having to cough up for a redesign because it’s one of the only ways they can keep students safe. The solution seems pretty straightforward – so why has it gotten to this point?