A day never forgotten

Pleasant+Valley+High+School+has+been+fortunate+to+not+have+many+safety+concerns+and+hopes+its+procedures+will+help+it+continue.
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A day never forgotten

Pleasant Valley High School has been fortunate to not have many safety concerns and hopes its procedures will help it continue.

Pleasant Valley High School has been fortunate to not have many safety concerns and hopes its procedures will help it continue.

Nate Martell

Pleasant Valley High School has been fortunate to not have many safety concerns and hopes its procedures will help it continue.

Nate Martell

Nate Martell

Pleasant Valley High School has been fortunate to not have many safety concerns and hopes its procedures will help it continue.

Maddy Licea, Editor in Chief

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Seven years ago, on Dec. 14, the lives and futures of 20 innocent children were taken away within minutes, as a result of a school shooting. Their parents sent them to school that day not realizing it would be the last time they would make lunches and tie their child’s shoes. 

Twenty six lives were taken this day by Adam Lanza and his assault rifle, and the country has not forgotten.

Since Sandy Hook, over 700,000 people have been killed or injured due to gun violence. As a nation, gun control policies have been the backbone of several platforms. While many assume gun control is a strictly democratic matter, the republican party has actually shown that assault rifles do not always show political preference. However, due to recent polarization it has been difficult to pass significant change in the federal laws. 

As a state, Iowa has expanded the rights of gun owners in hopes of promoting self defense, in addition to banning all firearms within one thousand feet of school grounds

The lives lost at such a young age has brought about great concern among many parents. Parent Julie Rothbardt is one of the many, “Sandy Hook reinforced the feeling that regardless of how much we try to protect our kids, we cannot keep them safe 24/7,” she said. 

As parents united across the country in their concern regarding safety in schools, PVCSD made it their mission to make the school district as safe and prepared as possible in case of such an event. Superintendent Brian Strusz emphasized the concern of safety, “The importance of school safety is right alongside the importance of providing a high quality education for all students,” he said.

Strusz shared a few of the multitude of projects the school is commencing. Of the few includes the “Safe Schools and Climate Committee”, which includes several members of the community. “[The goal is to] examine our current practices around school safety and school climate and then offer ways to improve both areas,” said Strusz. 

Senior Abbey Wehrheim remembers the day quite clearly. “I remember when I went over to my friend Sydney’s house before gymnastics practice and how my heart dropped,” Wehrheim said. She added, “every noise that is slightly off and every unrecognized person that passes, you start to think about it.”

The school environment has never been the same since that day of pure tragedy. As Strusz continued, he believes the key factor to preventing school shootings is, “always be willing to tell someone who is able to help.” 

Rothbardt expressed her further concerns as a parent, “It leaves me always a bit uneasy every time they walk into school, get into a car, go to the movies,” she said. 

School shootings– a tragic label attached to gen z–is no longer about being loyal to a political party. Now, it is about saving lives. The innocent lives taken in school shootings, such as Sandy Hook, consisted of children with a whole future ahead of them. However, now left merely as a political symbol. 

Shootings have gone beyond politics, it is about those 20 innocent lives that could have prospered, but were unfortunately taken as a result of a gun.