The Tragic Normalization of School Shootings

Leslie Lozada, Editor in Chief

School shootings are the new normal it seems: They have become common enough that you can find someone that has been a victim in a shooting.


On Feb. 13, 2023, there was a shooting that took place at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan. At the time of this article, there were three dead as well as five in critical condition. One person who was around the area during the shooting was one of the students that was previously at the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. There were students from MSU that witnessed the Oxford High School shooting in Michigan in 2021.


Even at NEIU, there was an instance where there was a gun brought into the Nest as reported by Scott Andrews, during a New Year’s party at the dorms. There was an earlier case at the start of the Fall 2022 semester where an NEIU library staff member was involved in a murder-suicide.


While we have not had any mass shootings, I would like to reflect on that. From the stereotypes we see of Chicago, it is often depicted as a dangerous place to live, especially on the South Side. There are also several gang-level crimes that are prevalent throughout the city. While it is hard to think about the possibility of having a school shooting on our campuses, or even a shooting in general, in Chicago, 692 people were murdered in 2022. That is just the number reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, in an ongoing list of homicides throughout the different neighborhoods in Chicago.


In 2022, 303 school shootings were reported that involved kindergarten through twelfth grade. In the K-12 School Shooting Database which was created by David Riedman in 2022, the highest death count that year was at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, with 22 deaths.


As a university with three distinct locations in the city, two on the North Side, and one on the South Side, there are different nuances to consider when it comes to who would be affected when it comes to a school shooting. There are different age groups which range from young adults to those close to a century old.


NEIU offers ways to protect yourself in a school shooting. The school has a video of what to do during a school shooting, titled ”Run, Hide, Fight”. Most of the footage presented in the video was from Indiana University. There is also the Campus Shield app, or N-Safe, that can be downloaded on your phone in order to alert campus police through anonymous tips, get a safety escort, and call the emergency number if needed, among other features. If it ever does happen, do what you can to stay safe.