Schools seeing an increase in violence at sporting events

by Emma DeWeese

Ten-year-old Micah Tennant was eager to watch Pleasantville’s playoff game on November 15, 2019. In an interview with ESPN his mother, Angela Tennant recalls, “Everybody was going to be at this game.” Micah Tennant was watching the game with his older sister when gunshots rang out in the third quarter. Tragically he died on November 20, 2019, with a bullet wound to his neck.

Micah Tennant isn’t the only victim of game-day violence. On October 8, a shooting at Whitmer High School stadium in Toledo during a football game led to three people hurt. The K-12 School Shooting Database reports 37 shootings at school sports events in 2022. Why is there an increase in gun violence? “It is just the classic idea that when more guns are around, the more likely it is that they are going to be used,” said James Densley, cofounder of the Violence Project, a research center aimed at reducing gun violence.

Ohio legislation passed in March says if you are 21 or older and can legally possess a handgun, you can legally carry that handgun concealed for any lawful purpose with no additional licenses, fees or paperwork required.  There has also been the illegal manufacturing and distribution of guns throughout the United States. 

With increased access to guns, how can sports fans protect themselves? Keneth S. Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, acknowledges the struggle schools face in providing security. He talks about the financial and logistical issues in an interview with ESPN but pushes for increased security. If fans feel unsafe, fans are encouraged to notify their school district and always stay aware.

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