Ding. The phone screen glows.
“We’re on lockdown. We’ll let you know what’s happening.”
Jennifer Caswell grabbed her phone with her trembling hands and called her daughter. No answer. She calls again, clenching her phone with her shaking fingers. No answer again. Adrenaline pumped through her veins.
It was her daughter’s 15th birthday and she was told there was an active shooter at her daughter’s school.
“And you don’t know what to say, nobody can prepare you for that.” Caswell said. “What if something’s not okay. That’s my baby, that’s my child.”
On Sept. 13, SWAT was called into Heights High School with the report from an anonymous phone call of an active shooter on campus. SWAT examined every classroom, yet no one was to be found. Although the Houston Police Department is continuing to explore the source of this mysterious call, no real evidence of a threat was to be found.
But, the anxiety is getting to all of us. The anxiety of students trying to focus on the teacher’s lecture without constantly glancing at the door in fear of an armed shooter barging in. The anxiety of parents glancing at their phone screens for an alert, knowing that a shooting may be the last time they see their children. The anxiety of police officers rushing to the school, hoping they aren’t too late to save young, innocent lives. The anxiety of teachers who bear the responsibility of protecting their students, who must muster up the courage to sacrifice their lives in the flash of a second.
School shootings affect everyone, not just the children at a school. One shooting brings about anxiety in students, parents, and teachers across the United States. But unfortunately, historical trends indicate that this situation isn’t going to go away soon. Only time can tell the effects of these shootings on the promising future generation.