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Opinion: Additional armed guards would be unnecessary at VHHS

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Opinion: Additional armed guards would be unnecessary at VHHS

Officer Santos is our School Resource Officer; he is always armed.

Officer Santos is our School Resource Officer; he is always armed.

Officer Santos is our School Resource Officer; he is always armed.

Officer Santos is our School Resource Officer; he is always armed.

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In 2018, it’s no question that violence is on the rise in schools, as evident by the fact VHHS even had a walk-out protest against gun violence in schools last year. Because of increased school violence, students all over America are fearful.

In a 2018 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center about student fear, 57 percent of students are in fear of a school shooting.

Because of growing student concern, one may wonder whether or not it would be a good idea to have more armed guards in school.

I believe we shouldn’t have armed guards in the school, or at least, not more than the one officer we have at VHHS.

The current officer or SRO (Student Resource Officer) is Detective Santos who is always armed. Officer Santos agreed that there would be no point to contracting armed guards to patrol the hallways of VHHS, although he wouldn’t object to it in the case of a school in an area with more crime.

“I’m here, my partners are close by, there’s always officers near, my station is less than a mile away, so there would be more than enough people if an armed person were to enter the school. Within seconds, there would be a lot of police officers here,” Santos said.

There isn’t much to be worried about in Vernon Hills to where we need armed guards, as VHHS has so many safety nets near it in case something does happen.

“Maybe for some students, [armed guards] would make some students feel safer, but for the most part, I feel like our school is in a safe community,” Zander Schwartz (10) said. “We have a fire station across the street from us, police near us, and we have security cameras.” 

Although it may seem like a good idea, armed guards actually can cause stress in students.

“With armed guards all over the school, it would be like a prison,” Tanya Chigurupati (10) said.

Assistant Principal Mr. Stilling had a similar idea as he talked about the tone and mood that more armed guards could present.

“I feel like that would give a very different feel to our school. Like if you walked in and passed two guys with guns at the front door on the way in, what kind of feel would our building have? Today you walked in and got a candy cane,” Stilling said.

Some students feel as though VHHS would be safer with armed guards patrolling the school due to the fact that it might fortify the school.

“I’ve always felt safe… but armed guards are just going to make anything safer, so I do think it’s just that added protection. It’s like a bonus,” Kayleen Shapiro (12) said.

This is a fair point, as the “bonus” seems like a very logical idea and I thought the same thing, but it seems as though the bonus is actually a hindrance.

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