We have seen the “new norm” at Glen Allen High School, and it should terrify us.
SWAT teams with riot shields sweeping through classrooms; students barricading themselves with furniture behind locked doors; officers toting assault-style rifles; frantic calls and texts between parents and their children.
Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of Tuesday’s lockdown was that teachers attempted to go about their lessons as usual, even though students were understandably distressed.
Two decades ago, this show of force might have sparked outrage.
This week, it produced relief, gratitude and sorrow.
“It’s just the sad reality of the world we live in,” said Lori Haas, a Henrico County resident whose daughter was wounded in the April 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. Students who’ve grown up since the 1999 school shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School have been so exposed to gun violence that some of them see guns as the solution to their problems, she said.
With the easy availability of firearms, “we have to assume they can get their hands on them,” Haas said. “When police encounter some sort of threat with a firearm, they have to respond