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Colt Chronicle

Letter from the editor: Don’t be afraid to speak up

There's a difference between snitching and reporting a serious problem. After Monday's events, it's imperative students know when to address the school resource officers.

Ramishah Maruf, Editor-in-Chief

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Last Tuesday, a former student, Ryan Trollinger, allegedly came onto our campus with a 9 millimeter gun in on his person. It was later discovered another student carried a ten page manifesto in his pocket, filled with blind rage containing his desire to become the worst school shooter in history.

We don’t know what Ryan Trollinger planned to do with that gun. He could’ve brought that gun to campus to show off to his friends, maybe even to declare some sort of message. In the worst case scenario, he might have been planning to fire that gun in the cafeteria during B lunch.

Luckily, we didn’t have to find out. This can be attributed to the bravery of two girls (who understandably did not want to be named), who reported the incident to the school resource officer.

These girls are heroes. They prevented Coral Springs from becoming the site of another tragedy, a building whose walls would be filled with memories of young, lost lives instead of laughter and school spirit.

We think these things don’t happen to us. We’re teenagers, we’re young and we think we have our whole lives ahead of us. We watch the news and pass shootings off as anomalies, believing that our time at Coral Springs will shelter us from the tragedies happening in the world around us.

That’s not the case anymore. We need to be cognizant of potential dangers surrounding us, and in order to do that we can’t be afraid to speak up when something or someone look suspicious.

There’s a certain stigma attached to reporting incidents to the school resource officer. We brand it as snitching, choosing our reputation with our friends over the safety of our classmates.

What those two girls did, immediately talking to the school resource officer, was not snitching. They didn’t snitch on Trollinger, they reported a possible criminal who might have had intentions to start shooting in a crowded cafeteria during lunch. There’s an obvious difference between snitching and reporting a serious problem.

Snitching is telling your teacher a classmate skipped the test last week. Snitching is ratting out your brother when he gets dirt on the carpet. When you fail to report a person who will endanger the lives of the people around you, you’re just as guilty as the perpetrator.

In March of 1964 a woman by the name of Kitty Genovese was brutally attacked in her neighborhood in Queens, New York. According to police reports, there were 37 or 38 witnesses to the murder of Ms. Genovese but no one reported the murder. After a witness was interviewed and questioned about why he did not call the police, he simply responded, “I did not want to get involved.”

Students, we need to get involved. When we see students who are hurting or lonely, we need to reach out to them and assuage their pain. You never know what kind of a difference a kind word or gesture can make.

We need to get involved when we see someone about to perpetrate a crime. It is our moral responsibility to look after one another. The administrators and police cannot keep us safe if we do not do our part.

To the ladies who reported Trollinger, I applaud you for doing the right thing. Perhaps he never meant to hurt us, but you made sure we all slept soundly that night. May you continue to be a role model and an inspiration for all of us.

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Letter from the editor: Don’t be afraid to speak up