Today’s scary school reality

Autumn Page, Contributor

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A sobbing girl crouching on a toilet sends an “I love you, Mom” text as someone enters the bathroom. The Sandy Hook Promise video shows the depressing reality of today’s schools in America. 

The video starts off with boys and girls showing off their new backpacks and colorful binders to mirror the start of a new school year. As a boy shows off his new headphones, there is commotion behind him. A boy running in his new sneakers, a girl tying the door shut with her jacket, a boy breaking a window with his new skateboard to escape. Cut to kids jumping out of windows, a little girl and boy holding colored pencils and a pair of scissors — hiding. A girl tying her friend’s leg with her knee-high socks to make the bleeding bullet wound clot. 

This is the reality of today’s America. According to CNN, there were 22 school shootings from Jan. 7, 2019, to July 11, 2019. While this isn’t the most recent article, the numbers don’t lie. This is the America we live in — where little kids have to worry about their safety in school. 

Twitter user @itshaileyreese took a screenshot of a text where a daughter, age 8, came home crying because she realized during an active shooter drill that the lights on her Sketchers would give her location away. 

An 8-year-old, grade 3, is worried about her shoes giving her away if there was an active shooter in her school. I know when I was in her grade, I was looking forward to snack time in my Twinkle Toes. Nowadays, we have innocent kids fearing every time they go to school. These kids may never know whether they’ll see their parents again. Nowadays, kids don’t get to live an actual childhood. 

When Hailey tweeted the screenshot, the replies varied. Many of them showed statistics from places like the Netherlands, Scotland and Canada, places that don’t have these constant school — and mass — shootings. It’s only America and, yes, Americans talk about gun reform. Nothing happens, though, because of outdated text and amendments. Americans cling onto the Second Amendment like a monkey clings onto a tree.  

Is this really the America we want our kids to live in? Is this really the America WE want to live in? Where people of ALL ages have to fear for their lives? No matter how many rallies, protests and movements people start and involve themselves in, nothing ever seems to be good enough — or powerful enough. 

Then you see this video, the kids, the inside of what a school shooting is like for those inside. You think twice. You may cry, you might tear up. It might shock you, considering the title of the video is “Back-To-School Essentials.” But, quite literally, those items can, and probably will, be “essentials.” No school is safe anymore, not here in Michigan, not in California, not anywhere. I know I’m always somewhat hesitant when leaving my dorm room, because you never know. During high school, I was always nervous to leave the house. 

This is the America we live in. Are you OK with this? Because I know I’m not.