Parkland Shooting Leaves Lehman Students Doubting Campus Safety

By Hector Bello

Unguarded entrance to Lehman. Photo by Hector Bello

“If it can happen in Florida, then it can happen over here in any college in New York too,” said Lehman Biology major Carelitza Fernandez about the shooting in Parkland Florida. Fernandez explained that her fear increased following this Feb. 14 incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which Nikolas Cruz, 19, killed 17 students. “Of course, I am concerned that something similar can happen in our school,” she continued, “because on average there are at least two school shootings a week in the U.S.” 

Many blame the high rate of shootings on the lack of laws regulating gun sales. Even for people that need psychiatric help it is easy to acquire semi-automatic weapons.  According to, “As much as 40 percent of all gun sales are undocumented private party sales that do not require a background check (aka the “gun show loophole.”)

 Along with renewing the national debate on gun control, the Parkland shooting had many Lehman students feeling unsafe, especially since at Lehman only two out of the six entrances are guarded. “It is absurd how anyone could walk through Lehman,” said Lehman business major Jesus Hernandez, “The question is, is our school prepared for an emergency like that? I feel like we should be more cautious and raise awareness. Yes, I am concerned. I believe that we should have an action plan in case of an emergency.”     

Although she noted that the campus entrance she uses is guarded, Lehman nursing major Angelica Olivares seconded her sense of potential threat for “other people like women in the night time…it is dangerous and it should be guarded. To be honest, yes, every day I am concerned because anything can happen on this campus.” 

Lehman computer science major Alex Mayi expressed mistrust of safety mechanisms in general. “You know, sometimes campus security officers are not so efficient when dealing with things like guns and rifles,” he explained. He added, “I know that gun laws in New York State are a little bit better and can protect us a lot more, but it is definitely still a threat and something that we should be constantly vigilant about and make drills for it to keep our campus safe.”