Slow progress a year after Parkland


Richard Mendiola

Daniel Pearl Magnet High School students hold and chant their posters during the #Enough Walkout on March 14.

Casey Wanatick and Parampreet Aulakh

As the one year anniversary of the deadly Parkland Shooting approaches, many across the country have taken a hard look at the safety of schools.

“I think our school is very safe,” Principal Deb Smith said. “One, because we are very small and we know our students. We are pretty on top of watching and looking for signs of trouble.”

At Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) there has been an increase in daily locker and backpack searches but aside from that, the small school environment has provided a sense of ease.

“I feel like the staff does a really good job of protecting the students,” freshman Daniela Rangel said.

After the recent threat found in the girl’s bathroom, DPMHS contacted the police to investigate it. District police officers monitored the campus the entire day after.

Over the past year, states all over the U.S. have passed laws in an effort to protect students. Last March, Florida Gov. Rick Scott passed a bill after the Parkland shooting titled “The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act” which imposed a 21-year-old age requirement to own a gun alongside a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases. The bill also allowed some school teachers to be armed in case of an active shooter. Since then, several states including Kentucky, Texas and Arizona have proposed bills that provide more funding toward school safety. California imposes a 10-day waiting period on the sale of all firearms and raised the minimum age to purchase a handgun to 21.

In December 2018 the Trump Administration passed a law that would not allow guns to have bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire almost as fast as automatic weapons. The bill has taken effect in all states.

Many high school students have shown their support for school safety by joining protests. On Mar. 24, 2018 thousands of students all across the U.S. joined activists from the Parkland shooting in Washington D.C. to protest for better safety regulations. Many Parkland survivors have also formed the organization “March For Our Lives” to spread the word about gun safety.

“I think that part of the issue we see with things like school shootings or shootings in communities is that they all operate on the element of surprise,” Smith said. “I think the best way to combat that is for schools to really know their students and pay attention to those showing signs of depression, or being trouble, failing grades or sitting alone.”