This is the future we live in now: Congress and President Trump won’t do shit about stopping mass shootings, so school districts are taking matters into their own hands, with one Michigan district reverse engineering the expansion of its high school to protect its students better than the government will.
According to Michigan news station WZZM 13, Fruitport School District is outfitting a new section of its high school with several grim features to reduce lines of sight and give students more room to hide in the event of a mass school shooting. The project is under a $48 million bond that was approved in 2016.
The new wing of the school will include curved hallways and cement partitions next to classroom doors, creating hiding spaces and preventing anyone from seeing the entire length of the hallway, the station reported. All doors will also be outfitted with access controlled locks so that a school can be locked down instantly and all windows will be covered with impact resistant film.
The worst part may be that this school isn’t an anomaly—this is the future of design for school and public spaces, and this is just the beginning of the architectural approach to mass shooting solutions: “These are going to be design elements that are just naturally part of buildings going into the future,” Fruitport Superintendent Bob Szymoniak told the local station. “This building will be the safest, most secure building in the state of Michigan when it opens.”
To be clear, this classroom “solution,” much like bulletproof backpacks or arming teachers, does nothing to solve the problem of mass school shootings, but feels like all you can really do when you don’t have the power to address the massive, systemic problem of gun violence.
President Trump has all but verbally committed to doing basically nothing about ending gun violence after 31 people were killed in the Dayton, OH, and El Paso, TX, shootings earlier this month. Even the original red flag proposals that the NRA had been open to approving wouldn’t have been enough. This isn’t a problem he created, but it’s a problem he’s exacerbated by enabling hate and violence. Without serious gun law reform, the blood of countless other children who will be murdered in their schools, even in these concrete barrier-blocking hallways, will be on his hands.