Protect Your School


‘See something, say something’ poster at Briar Woods. Photo courtesy of Madeeha Naqvi.

Madeeha Naqvi, Reporter and Design Editor

TRIGGER WARNING: This article talks about sensitive subject matters such as school shootings and lost victims.
Tragedy befell upon the University of Virginia on Nov. 13 when a shooting took place in a school bus that was returning from Washington D.C. Starting off as a fight amongst students on the bus, three students, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry, were killed, and two were left wounded.
To commemorate the lost victims, the community of Charlottesville held vigils and prayers which were attended by more than one hundred people on Monday, November 14. Subsequently, classes were canceled and students weren’t accountable for their assignments until Thanksgiving break because the town of Charlottesville was completely perplexed.
“My reaction to the shooting [was that I was] speechless. The shooting has changed UVA tremendously; it doesn’t feel the same anymore” said Saher Zaib, a freshman at UVA.
Not only has the shooting left UVA bewildered, but also students in high school who aspire to attend the university.
“Even though safety is emphasized throughout the school year, unfortunate incidents like these really show students the importance of guidelines at school,” said sophomore Deepshika Boppisetti regarding her dream school. “Because I have such a dream to attend UVA, and I know other students do too, I hope the incident doesn’t change people’s opinion about the university.”She hopes that the shooting doesn’t have a perpetual impact on the university, the town of Charlottesville, and other communities of Virginia.
She further hopes that schools better their safety protocols as a learning from the incident so that as much tragedy is mitigated as possible.
In order to prevent such mishappenings, schools strive to secure their campuses by maintaining safety and order at all times. Ray Davis, the security officer at Briar Woods, emphasizes the importance of understanding and abiding by the school guidelines such as refraining from ordering take out at school and staying inside for the first and last twenty minutes of class.
“As frustrating as it might be, security can mitigate anything bad from happening,” said Davis.
It is pivotal for students to understand that no safety regulation is unreasonable or unnecessary. Every rule that is emplaced has a definitive purpose; for example, ordering take out, which seems to anger most students, is prohibited as it poses a threat by allowing unauthorized individuals into the school premises.
While understanding the significance of safety regulations is critical, practicing them is really what it comes down to. Davis advises students to be more precautionary by participating in the drills and reporting anything unusual. When asked to elaborate, he states that there is no such thing as a “false alarm” and prompts students to report any suspicious activity without a moment of hesitation. As Davis states, “See something, say something.”