Campus Safety in the Age of Gun Violence

It has been one week since the campus of Savannah State University was rocked with tragedy after the murder of Kaleel Clarke by Phillip Burke, neither of them were students. It has also been almost three weeks since the nation was struck with tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. in Parkland, Fla, where 17 people were killed including students.

According to CNN there has been 12 school shootings in 2018 so far. With the threat of gun violence politicians, schools and universities across the nation have been finding ways to deal with gun violence. Some states allow teachers to be armed. Other states students to carry guns onto college campuses.

States like Utah, Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas allow guns on campus. Georgia is also included among those states.

House Bill 280 was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, since July 2017 it allows student to carry guns on to college campuses. It is now known as campus carry “At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection.” said Deal in a statement According to University Systems of Georgia(USG) handbook only those with concealed carry permits can bring a gun onto campus. Since then schools in the USG have worked to provide security to campuses while not violating the right of those who carry guns. The USG place restrictions on where they can carry. Areas like classrooms, housing, and Faculty, staff and administrative offices are prohibited.

At Savannah State if student or visitor violate the restrictions they are arrested. They also have to follow other restrictions put into place.

“If they are over 21 they have go to the registrar office to find out if any dual enrollment students are in the class” said Savannah State Chief of Police, Chief James Barnwell

If they are under 21 or do not have a permit additional charges can be added. The only way a student or visitor can carry a gun is to be 21 and have a permit.

“The only way to carry is to be legal age and have a permit” said Barnwell

To provide students with safety against threats like an active shooter, many public institutions are making plans.

“We have training, a SWAT team, and support from the Savannah Police Department, Chatham County Police Department and Thunderbolt Police Department” said Barnwell Savannah State also added the “LiveSafe” app for emergency notification and sending in tips anonymously. It is a free app and it can be downloaded to any smart device.

Chief Barnwell also wanted students to know that Savannah State is safe and secure school.

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