Stay Safe, Stay Smart, Stay Alive

Stay Safe, Stay Smart, Stay Alive

Purchasing some form of pepper spray can protect from potential attackers. One example of this is Quick Release Key Ring Pepper Spray, sold at Bass Pro Shops.

Sarah Fifield, Staff Writer

A man came and shared his story with us. This police officer shared the story of his daughter’s kidnap, rape and murder. It wasn’t to scare the living daylights out of us, but to keep us safe.

A father, not our own, cares about our safety.

He wants no one to have to suffer what he has had to deal with for years.

On June 2, 2007, Kelsey Smith was taken from a local Target and murdered. Greg Smith teared up while sharing the story of his daughter with our student body, and I won’t lie, it tugged at my heart- strings too.

There was no reason for his daughter to be killed — she had done nothing wrong. All she had to do was be seen by that one person, and to have made something click in their mind. It could have been anyone. So keep safe and use some common sense.

Greg Smith’s main message was this: if you feel as though you are in danger, don’t second-guess yourself; go with your gut feeling. Girls, do you recall those safety whistles each and every one of us re- ceived if we attended the assembly? When in danger, use it. We didn’t receive the whistles for free just to throw them out. If you don’t find this to be reliable enough, spend some money and purchase other forms of protection. It could just save your life.

While many terrible crimes are committed at night, they are also committed in the broad daylight. Although all is visible, some vic- tims are never seen alive again. In Kelsey’s case, she was buying a gift for her boyfriend, an act that was in no way drawing attention to her, but she still lost her life.

These things can happen at stores, jobs and, although many would choose to not believe, at schools. By 8 p.m. on an average day, it is dark. Yet, after the light is gone, school activities continue until later hours of the night. The exhausted students, as well as faculty, endure the eerie, dark walk to their car in order to go home to their cozy bed for a good night’s sleep.

Unfortunately, many of them are walking alone and without protec- tion to their car in a practically abandoned parking lot.

If you haven’t noticed, there is a minimal number of businesses surrounding our magnificent school, which means no one is around to help.

One simple solution for protect- ing oneself from potential harm in the black parking abyss: pepper spray. I personally own a pretty pink ‘Quick Release Key Ring Pepper Spray’ that was purchased at Bass Pro Shops for $12.99, a small price to pay for one’s life.

Yet, it just so happens that our school district strongly discourages the possession of pepper spray in the building. Poof, just like that, students are left defenseless in the face of potential danger.

In order to abide by district preferences, I used to remove my pepper spray from my lanyard each and every morning prior to heading to school. Each and every evening, I would forget to reattach it before I ventured to stores and places throughout the night. Soon, it became a losing battle, and shortly after, I gave up.

Now, my pepper spray remains in some drawer in some room in my house. Unfortunately, my house contains lots of rooms, and even more drawers.

The district hopes that students use the resources provided when they feel threatened or in danger. Yet, when someone is in the middle of the parking lot being attacked, how many resources are there?

Personally, I don’t find this to be acceptable. The lack of resources can be the deciding factor between me walking away from an attacker or not. There may be nothing we can do to change this, but there is something we can do to keep our- selves safe. Have your safety whistle in hand when walking to your car or around areas where you feel unsafe. Heck, go old-school and use the buddy system when walking in the parking lot.

As Greg Smith said, you become exponentially safer when walking with a buddy, and the bigger the group, the better. Never neglect the twisting feeling in your gut that screams ‘DANGER’, because you never know what could be waiting around the corner. Your life is a pre- cious gift, so do whatever it takes to keep it in good hands.