My ‘Second Home’

School is my second home, not because of the falsified ‘community’ atmosphere that is drilled into every influential youth from the moment they first step onto the grounds, but because of the countless hours I spend daily slaving over essays and coursework assignments in a cramped classroom; lights dimmed, back bent and passing out from sleep deprivation imminent.

The fact that I have spent, and will continue to spend, every free moment revising for the next most important, life changing test of the month by default makes school my top most visited place asides from my house.

It’s true I pass more time in lessons and study groups than at home, more time surrounded by friends, peers and teachers than siblings, parents and in house debates, and this is why it is such a concern that the safety of us students is now considered at risk.

Turn back to when I first joined my high school as an eager, brace faced, insecure preteen, the only safety routine we had in place was the fire drill. For this all we did was line up outside in silence for what seemed like forever, particularly when some ‘rebel’ pulled the alarm in a Noah’s Arc style storm, and then once the building had been cleared we would return indoors for our lessons.

In the last year a whole new alarm had to be introduced, a new screechy, repetitive ring that has been added to the list of safety procedures we have to practise occasionally in the school.

For this drill the teacher has to lock the door, the blinds have to be pulled and everyone has to get under the tables and crouch in silence. This new alarm, this new procedure, this new threat is for terrorists.

Now in school we have all had to be prepared for the real and scary possibility of being attacked by a gunman. And our ‘safety precaution’? We hide under the speckled gum tables and hope the attacker won’t open the door.

In addition to this, as sixth formers lanyards will be introduced as a way of identifying ourselves in fear of intruders.

This exploits the truth that our schools are not adequately prepared for the crisis we are faced with, and that all of the pupil’s wellbeing is at risk.

So my ‘second home’? Now a place of risk and fear, threatened with the possibility of terrorism.

Meet Saffron

mother and teen daughterSaffron Hooton is an A level student currently studying English Language, Creative Writing, Biology and Spanish at sixth form. As an aspiring writer, she is passionate about crafting literary work in a range of styles, focusing on pros fiction and pros non-fiction pieces. Saffron enjoys reading in her spare time, which is scarce as exams draw closer, along with playing the piano and meeting with her group of friends. Saffron is considering a career in writing and hopes to continue her education further at university in the upcoming years. The mantra she lives by is to be content with yourself and your actions, in the least cliché way possible, as there are too many people out there ready to discourage you. Or in other words, as taken from the lips of Viola Davis in ‘The Help’, ‘You is kind, you is smart, you is beautiful’.