It’s Time For Students To Take Responsibility For Their Safety

The boy who cried wolf, a fable frequently quoted by parents to urge children to not give “false alarm.” In the age of false bomb or gun threats as the high school experience, where do we draw the line? Following the active shooter incident on Oct. 6 at Timberview, the blame passed from individual to individual from teacher to administration. The safety of the school is not only the staff and police’s job, it also lies with us, the students.

The culture of “snitches get stitches” is ingrained into students’ minds and the fear of someone, we care little about, labeling someone as a tattletale causes us an unreal fear of damaging our social status. But a culture in which no one speaks up makes us all liable in the event of another incident like at Timberview. Check the alleged shooter’s Instagram and find posts with him posing with a gun. Check his YouTube and find a self-directed music video in which he flaunts a gun, essentially equivalent to a modern-day manifesto. All the signs and clues showed his capability of an assault. The clues were right in our faces. 

Every time a school shooting happens, the narrative of the shooter being bullied to the point where they took out their frustrations with a gun is peddled to the public. Regardless of if the narrative is true or not, if students see bullying, their immediate reaction should be to report the incident. We as students cannot constantly blame school administration for the fault of tragedies. Stricter security around entrances and making students wear IDs all day were already being enforced with a gun incident happening earlier this year.

In a time where school shootings aren’t an uncommon phenomenon, helping to prevent such tragedies remains the duty of the whole community–especially students. ”

— Nina Banks

This event isn’t the first instance this year in which fear of informing administration has caused serious harm to the campus. The devious licks trend caused thousands of dollars of damage to the school and canceled the Pink Out pep rally. The encouragement to participate in the trend by likes on TikTok only fueled the motivation to vandalize the school and commit crimes. With a large amount of attention for the trend, there were no tips to Crime Stoppers or an administrator to catch the vandalizers forcing the school to rack up costly damage. Again, we, the students, could have prevented these crimes.

Teachers, faculty and staff members can only do so much to protect us. It’s our job to do the rest. Students can’t sit in silence anymore. Reporting discussion of orchestrating a crime, potential hurt to a student or vandalism is integral to prevention. Regardless of if it’s a joke, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s time we change the “snitches get stitches” culture. It’s time we report what we see. It’s time to take responsibility for our safety.