Michigan State University campus was victim of a recent fatal shooting attack. PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFF SHANNON
On Feb. 13, 2023, 43 year old Anthony Dwayne McRae opened fire at Michigan State University. The shooting resulted in four deaths, and at least five people critically injured.
Being just one of the many shootings in public schools throughout the past year, many educators and future educators are scared for their safety.
Millersville University, being a well-known institution for education-related studies, has many current students who are apprehensive of their future careers as teachers and administrators in public schools. Some, like senior Amelia Cusanno, have questioned this prospective line of work after reading about the shooting on social media.
“It has definitely made me question whether or not to become an educator,” says Cusanno. “Without a doubt, I’d give my life to protect my students, but I’m terrified of it getting to that point.”
Schools have increased in security over the years, whether it be walk-through metal detectors, clear backpacks, or even implementing lessons on how to combat a shooter. Most of these policies were put in place after fatal school shootings.
In addition to this, Millersville students majoring in education were asked about their opinions on what could be done to prevent more shootings from happening.
“I don’t know if there is anything more that schools, especially college campuses, can do to prevent this,” says Kennedy Ressler. “It’s on lawmakers now.”
Michigan State University students were only given a week off of classes after the tragedy, limiting the amount of time people could take to recover and grieve. As a result of this short break, an online petition was started to make classes completely online, so students could learn in the safety of their homes. The petition ended up with 23,000 signatures.
Cusanno mentioned his opinion on the online class idea.
“I think it would definitely be helpful for some. Depending on the severity of a student’s trauma, they may need to be reintroduced to a classroom environment through gradual exposure rather than thrown right back into it,” said Cusanno.
Rachel Matto, a junior, recalls her experience when doing her field placement requirement for her major. During her time there, the school went into lockdown, and the teacher was unsure if it was real or a drill. The teacher had left the students with her phone with 911 at the ready, and positioned herself between the students and the door.
“I hope one day I can become a teacher like her,” says Matto. “But hopefully none of my students will have to go through that.”
Most of the education majors do not have as much hope anymore for the future because of the frequency of these events and the lack of change. In their eyes, this is just something that will continue to be dealt with when it comes.
“Nothing has changed since the shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012. School shootings do not happen in any other country, so stricter gun laws is what we need to do if we want a change,” says junior Molly Lovelace.