Taylor Swift is just too good at those catchy lines, ones that grab you, that perfectly describe your life, a moment, that speak to you when nothing else can. The line, “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes” really makes me think. It speaks to me not about a boy or a dramatic friend, but instead about school shootings, and what schools are doing to prevent them.
The deadliest college shooting in history is the Virginia Tech Massacre in 2007 when an active shooter killed 32 people (CNN). At the beginning of second semester last year, Purdue suffered a loss when an active shooter entered their Electrical Engineering Building (Purdue). Most recent to make national news was the campus shooting in the library of Florida State University where three students were shot before police took down the suspect (CNN). During the past semester there were three shootings within a mile of my campus, two of which involved student housing, and one where a student of a local campus was shot. These events have been eye-opening to the status of campus safety.
After these local incidences the campus security departments sent out emails detailing the event (a crime alert) and reminders of the policies they have in place should you feel unsafe. The city called meetings, including students, policy makers, police departments, etc. to discuss the safety of the students in a city that houses six colleges and thousands of students. However, no plan has been reported to the students.
In my opinion the city did a great job of putting a Band-Aid on the situation. They investigated and apprehended those responsible, closed cases, and reminded students to be safe. An article published in 2013 on Huffington Post reported that “Currently, one-in-four campus police departments are not prepared to handle an active shooter,” as reported by Campus Safety Magazine. 46% percent say that they are understaffed and nearly half reported they do not have enough weapons or training to properly handle their weapons. In 2012 at least five shootings were reported and three happened within the first month of 2013 with more than 27 reported shootings on or near campus that year (Huffington Post).
If these statistics come as a shock to you it’s most likely because the majority of them did not make national news. As students and Smart Girls, I urge you not to settle for a Band-Aid on this situation. Challenge your school and your city to find out what they are doing to keep you safe. Most schools are required by law to report crime statistics annually to the government but experts believe that crime is significantly underreported (USnews). My school has an ongoing joke about being in a “bubble” where the real world doesn’t quite reach us. Get out of that bubble. Open your eyes to the reality of the risk surrounding your campus and stay educated in order to keep yourself safe. And remember “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes”.