Staff Editorial – It’s time to stop projecting blame

It’s easy to say Oxford High School’s school shooting could’ve been prevented. 

It’s easy to point fingers at the administration, the teachers, or even the student culture. But, it’s impossible to blame a single source. Many have accused the administration of “not doing enough.” However, how can a single group of people be entrusted with the accountability of hundreds or even thousands of students and faculty?

Here at Mason, we are thankful to have psychologists, police officers, and even a care team. But could all of this account for every single student out of 3600 in total? 

It is a sad reality, but we have to accept that it is nearly impossible to account for every single person in the building. We cannot tell if everybody is okay. We cannot tell if there is a student at the school who feels alone, who feels like there is nobody who cares about them. We cannot pinpoint a student who may have struggled with the temptation to hurt those around them.

Even though they are not always explicit, signs are always there. Signs can be present in almost every facet of someone’s life, whether it’s through their artwork or their emotional behavior. But it’s important to note that even if signs are detected, there is no “kicking someone out.” The administration cannot expel a student based on hearsay or accusation. 

As students, it’s a scary thought to have. But this is something we must accept. 

However, that doesn’t mean there’s 

nothing we can do. We can educate ourselves, teach each other. If you see something, say something. These messages are plastered all around the walls of our school, yet very few students actually follow protocol when it’s needed. And we know it’s hard to reach out, to feel like you are “shoving” someone into confrontation. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

We have to look around ourselves and encourage the growth of our self-awareness. Especially at the end of the semester, many students are under stress for a variety of reasons, whether it’s family coming into town or a “cumulative” assessment. It’s important as ever for us to check up on our peers and classmates. 

According to the New York Times, there have been 28 school shootings since August. Kids are struggling. They are starting to channel their negative thoughts into harmful actions at the cost of someone else’s life. 

And there is no magical solution to preventing tragedies like this.

But it’s time to stop pointing fingers. Passive Facebook posts and projecting blame get us nowhere. 

Although it feels like the entire situation is out of our hands, looking within ourselves is the least we can do. There is always the power of introspection and conversation, something we can invoke in each other. We can talk about it and branch out so that, hopefully, we can touch the heart of someone who is struggling to ask for help.