I’ve accepted my fate.

I’ve accepted that I am most likely going to die by a school shooter/bomber. I’ve made peace with that fact because I am used to feeling scared. Do I want to go out that way? Hell no, but I’ve accepted it.

I grew up in the USD 308 Hutchinson school district, so I have seen my fair share of threats.

The first threat I remember was in elementary school. I do not remember much of the threat itself but I remember being scared. No kid should ever feel that way. I did not want to go back to school after that, but I had to because the law was forcing me. The government forces a scared little kid to go to a place where they no longer feel safe. That’s today’s society for you.

The next major threat I remember was my freshman year of high school, and unlike the elementary threat, I remember everything about this one. This threat stuck with me because I actually understood what was happening unlike when I was in elementary and middle school. I was in my second class of the day, World History. The intercom went off saying we were in lockdown. We were in lockdown for six hours. We weren’t allowed to leave the classroom for anything.

Around four hours in we were finally allowed to leave for a lunch and bathroom break. There were sack lunches made for everyone to take back to their class to eat. I remember being so bored during those six hours and all I wanted to do was go home to my family. The only fun thing about that day was us playing “Just Dance”.

After everything was clear, it was time to go home. Well, for most people. I still had to go to volleyball practice. Our coach sat us down for a long talk about what happened and she said “Sammi, are you OK? The event (that caused the school to go into lockdown) was behind your house.”

What a way to find out, I just shook my head. I could not focus for the rest of practice because I was scared for my family even though it was all over.

In my junior year, I recall a shooter threat and a bomb threat. Once I heard of the bomb threat I immediately texted my dad to call me out because I was tired of feeling scared at school. For the shooter threat that year I do not remember much about but I do remember someone, who I used to be so close with, sent streaks on SnapChat with a fake gun while there was a shooter threat. I have mixed feelings because that was so incredibly stupid but shooting threats have become so normalized we tend to joke about them now.

The fact that school shooting/bombing threats have become so normalized is mind blowing to me. THIS SHOULD NOT BE NORMALIZED! Sending your kids to school and thinking “hopefully they come back alive” should not be a thing. “We send thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families” is bullshit. I should not be OK with accepting my fate at school but I am because I am used to this routine.

I am not wondering “if” it is going to happen, I am wondering “when”.

Sammi Carpenter is a Hutchinson freshman studying sports medicine.

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