Man holding newspaper LG Spear Newsletter

Can Tape Save a Life? By Ariana Casillas-Rodriguez

There has been an addition to schools all throughout the state of Florida. Now, in every classroom, there is a bright, yellow and black caution tape across a specific corner on the floor. This corner, that is hard to miss, is essentially a “safe zone” for students to go to if there was ever a school shooting. Parents, students, and teachers all have different opinions on this caution tape.

The majority of parents tend to side against the caution tape mainly because they believe it gives “false security” and because it serves as a “daily reminder” of what could be. Parents do not want their children to go to school and have the constant reminder of the fear of a school shooter. Parents believe this doesn’t help their children in any way and it is not effective. But they also take into consideration the fact that Polk County is doing everything they possibly can to keep their students safe. However, no promises can be made by the caution tape and most students take a different approach to the “safe zone”.

Students like Sidney Marshall say “Yes, it is a false sense of security, but it’s not a reminder of fear because school shootings aren’t taboo anymore”. Many students like Marshall explained that school shootings are unavoidable, and it’s something they’ve gotten used to. Especially for the younger generations who are growing up in a time where they’re practicing lockdown drills at the age of five. Most high school students today didn’t start having lockdown drills until middle school, and now it’s done across all grades. Unfortunately, this generation has made it to where a piece of caution tape doesn’t remind students of school shootings, but just arriving at school they are already on lockdown mentally; they prepare themselves for the worst but hope for the best each and every day.

As for teachers and administrators, they tend to take both sides. Some may not feel a need for it and may call it unnecessary while others claim that in case of emergencies it may be useful. The childhood development teacher here at LG, Ms. Woodard, gives her opinion by saying “For my classroom specifically, I think the kids would be safer in the bathrooms or the closet rather than behind the tape”. When asked if she thought it was a distraction or a reminder, she claimed that for her preschoolers she made it fun and a part of their activities. However, for the high schoolers, she felt that they were old enough to understand what it meant, but not let it get to them. Then when the Spear interviewed Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Mrs. DeShazor, she stated: “The county has implemented this and in case of emergencies we want our teachers and students to be prepared and know what to do”. All in all, the purpose of the caution tape is to provide safety and the county is doing what they can to prevent any harmful events from occurring.