Freshman Class Event Cancelled


Photo Credit: Flickr

Leah Breakstone

For some of us, laser tag has been a game that we have played since we were seven years old at arcades, birthday parties, and family outings. One probably never thought of the thrilling game as scary, unsettling, or inappropriate. Yet after the course of events at Parkland, the view of playing laser tag suddenly changed. Friday, March 2nd was the date set for the Freshman class activity, planned by the Freshmen student government representatives, which would be, indeed, laser tag at school. “There was going to be a competition between teams of five,” said Molly Bochner ’21, who is a freshman representative in student government. Due to the recent shooting in Parkland and other current events, a decision was made to cancel the activity. Zoe Aaron, Class of 2021 commented, “I understand why it was cancelled, but I could see why some would be upset about it being cancelled”.

The tragedy at Parkland, and other schools around the country has sparked a national conversation that has extended beyond gun control and school safety to examining ‘Whether exposure to guns in video games and tv shows/movies play a role inciting violence among teens?’ When something so tragic happens, people want to scrutinize our society and how we’ve gotten to where we are. Activities that at one point were thought of as fun, friendly, and innocent entertainment are now being looked at using a different lens. People want to find the simple things that can easily be fixed to make us feel less vulnerable and more in control within our community. Would a game of laser tag necessarily incite violence in anyone or give the wrong message about guns? Not necessarily, but given what happened in Parkland and beyond, the idea of kids running around in the dark at school, shooting each other with laser guns two weeks after the tragedy, would not have been appropriate and would have felt unsettling to many. “It wouldn’t be very sensitive to have the activity,” remarked Bochner. Additionally, the fact that the Parkland shooting hit close to home for many SHS students and families gave more reasons why the event should be cancelled.

What effects will the debate on guns and violence have on the entertainment industry? Will people be more mindful of the types of content they are putting out into the world via video games, tv shows and movies? Will laser tag be a game of the past? Who knows, but it is important for us as teenagers to think about the type of world we want to create for the future to ensure the safety of children in the next generation.