Preventing Tragedy at Regis Jesuit

By Kate Dunne ‘22

LISTEN: Interview with Regis Jesuit Security Specialist Imtiaz Stephen

The Columbine school shooting on April 20, 1999 sparked a trend of school shootings across America and every year, the epidemic gets worse. This year alone, there have been 154 mass shootings. This does not include the number of shootings that are threatened every year but never happen.

Do you ever wonder what makes Regis Jesuit feel safe? It does not just happen automatically. Teachers, administrators, and security guards spend a lot of time making sure the school stays safe. Most of the time we let these things go unnoticed but people are working tirelessly every single day to make Regis an environment where we feel comfortable.

Freshman Avery Ott uses the padlock security system to enter the Steele Center.

Part of making Regis Jesuit the safe environment that students feel they have at school is us contributing.

“Don’t open the door for strangers, if you do not identify them. Always be on the lookout, keep your face out of your cell phones,” says RJ security specialist Imtiaz Stephen about us helping to keep our school safe.

Previously, Stephen worked overseas as a security personnel and as an Arapahoe County sheriff. He has had many other opportunities for work, but he is passionate about our safety and keeping the school protected from harm.

“If you have one or two sets of eyes trying to take care of a sixty five acre campus it is hard. If you have 3400 eyes on that same campus working it makes it a lot easier. More vigilance is better,” Stephen says.

Freshman, Sierra Bajek is experienced with using guns and when asked if she felt safe at Regis Jesuit, she said,

“I feel very safe at Regis. The security guards are always so nice and they try their best to keep us safe.”

With a lot of positive feedback about the safety here at Regis Jesuit it brings up questions about what went wrong in the events of Columbine, Sandy Hook, and at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida last Valentine’s Day.

Unfortunately, the most deadly school shooting in United States History could have been prevented. The sheriff’s office in Parkland was said to have received a number of tips about Nikolas Cruz, the shooter’s, threats to carry out a school shooting.

After the shooting, the FBI discovered that the shooter had a YouTube channel and videos of him threatening the school were on the channel.

The point of this is that the situation can be prevented. If students keep their eyes aware on social media and in person for people that seem out of it or even just sad they can turn someone’s day or even life around.

Both students said that they would go out of their way to help a student at Regis that looked upset. But it is not all about what we say it is about what we do. Not only do we need to protect our school but as students we need to protect our rights.

Every time there is a school shooting there is a nation wide spark of anger and people become desperate to get some kind of gun regulations or background scan before having access to a gun. After a few months the anger simmers down and people seem to forget about their rage until the next shooting happens.

Statistics show that states with more gun regulations have far less homicides every year If you believe that there should be more regulations on guns and who can have them, speak out.

The more we say, the more we can be heard. Take action email a local politician, talk to a teacher, a parent, anyone. Do not just talk about making a difference. Be the difference!

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