By Catherine Festa, TSB Staff
It has been almost a month since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., occurred. As we all tuned into the news and listened on the radio, there was one question looming in the air:
What are we going to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
I wasn’t the only one asking it. The topic was fresh on other MISD students’ minds, too.
“I was speechless when I heard,” McKinney North freshman Haley Begala said. “It doesn’t make sense that someone would go in to an elementary school and kill innocent children and teachers like that.”
Now, weeks later, McKinney Independent School Distict (MISD) has announced that with the return of students for second semester, all five middle schools will now have a police officer permanently at their campus.
“They did this to guard and protect us from unexpected situations and are tryingto prevent bad things from happening,” Faubion Middle School seventh-grader Emily Polk said. “They are putting themselves before us.”
Not only are these changes benefitting the safety of the students physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
“When I first heard about Sandy Hook I was scared something like it was going to happen at Faubion,” Emily said. “But it is now nice to know the officers are trying to protect us from dangerous situations.”
In recent years, only the three MISD high schools contained permanent officers. But with the wounds of Sandy Hook still fresh, it feels good that MISD is ensuring that kids in all grades are comfortable day-to-day at school. The district still has yet to announce a plan for more protection at elementary schools, except to say that patrol officers drive through parking areas around those schools on a regular basis. But with my mom as a kindergarten teacher, I know that the faculty at those campuses are putting the kids’ safety and well-being above anything else.
To me, this will be an event that 10 years from now people will be asking, “Where were you when you heard?” Personally, I was sitting in the yearbook room when my teacher came running into the classroom and pulled up the news. No one spoke, we just watched. My heart is still heavy, along with the rest of the country.
This is definitely a time to recognize the loved ones in our lives, but also a time to move forward and take the next step to make sure this tragedy doesn’t happen again. MISD is doing everything in their power to do just that.