A Berks County student perspective in response to school shootings

Brandywine Heights freshman Ethan Strause
Brandywine Heights freshman Ethan Strause

Hurt, despair, betrayal. These are feelings that many students across the country feel due to the lack of action that has been taken in wake of the school shootings that are almost being normalized.

Many students sit and wonder during class are we next? Is it going to be him or her that shoots me? Am I just being paranoid? These are things that no students should have to face.

Outrage of students was heard from not only the homes of the whole nation, but outside on the doorstep of the Capital just a few weeks later. Changes among the behaviors of actions being taken have changed periodically since then, but schools such as Brandywine Heights have seen little change.

On March 14, Brandywine put their own spin on the Walkouts by hosting a symposium made up of Sen. Judy Schwenck, Superintendent Andrew Potteiger, Brandywine Heights School Board President Bryan Rothermel, and State Police Trooper David Boehm. They were there to talk of school safety and what they planned to make the school a safer place to prevent potential attacks. Many things were discussed during this event such as the morning gathering spot for students prior to going to homeroom, which is basically a giant glass room with about eight unlocked doors leading into it, or the arming of staff, which none of the panelists seemed to agree with.


This leads the question of what are they open to? What is it going to take for action to be taken?

Students vocalized their thoughts when given the mic to ask their pre-scripted questions approved by the principal of the High School. The board asked the students to take the mic and ask their questions directly, some of which took a visible turn in the opposite direction in which the panel was trying to make it.

Many students started with their original questions which turned into sneers and comments such as, “How many shootings have to happen for you to do something about it?”

The deliverance of such bold statements from students really shows the discourage they face. They’re afraid they don’t have the answer and neither does the government.