Editorial: Was mental health the cause of the Parkland shooting?


What is the main problem that factors in to school shootings? Many say it’s gun control, but that’s not the case; mental health is the real issue here. Statistics from LifeScience, shows https://www.livescience.com/8787-1-5-teens-mental-disorder.html that 1 in 5 teens suffer from severe mental health.

Mental health is an important factor in many teens lives. It can go from deadly thoughts to deadly actions.

Due to teens who suffer from mental health, schools are becoming less and less safe. School is a place where you should feel safe and not in danger.

According to Mental illness policy org 2017, https://mentalillnesspolicy.org/consequences/percentage-mentally-ill-untreated.html, less than 50 percent of teens get help for their mental disorder. Nikolas Cruz is a victim of severe mental health. He is among the percent who haven’t been treated.  As stated on a Green Bay Press Gazette article posted on February 21st, 2018, https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2018/02/21/nikolas-cruzs-threats-shoot-up-school-were-enough-warning-act-legal-experts-say/340728002/, his social media accounts show him with guns and knifes. A Youtube comment posted with his name said that, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” All the warning signs were there but were ignored.  

According to ABC news 2018, http://abcnews.go.com/US/students-parents-desperate-answers-police-investigate-florida-school/story?id=53103817. On February 14, 2018 Nikolas Cruz opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school. The students in this high school had a drill hours before. Many were confused when another drill went off. However, the second drill was a part of Nikolas’ plan. Cruz pulled the fire alarm and as students began to leave their classrooms he then began to fire into the crowd. There was 17 casualties and more than a dozen injured.

According to New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/us/nikolas-cruz-florida-shooting.html?module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=U.S.&action=keypress&region=FixedLeft&pgtype=article   posted February 16, 2018 Cruz was adopted by Roger and Lynda Cruz. Lynda, however, died last fall, and Roger passed a few years earlier, leaving him parent less yet again. This worsened Cruz’s mental state by allowing him to fall deeper into his depression.

Some say the mental health wasn’t the actual problem; gun control was. However, Cruz bought all his guns legally according to USA Today February 15, 2018 article https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/02/15/florida-shooting-suspect-bought-gun-legally-authorities-say/340606002/ . Even though he met the laws to be able to possess a gun, his severe mental heath was the cause of this deadly school shooting.

Society should allow different mental health severity to be accepted in institutions to help the mentally ill. If you know someone with deadly thoughts and any type of mental health, get them the help they need. Following the signs can help prevent the loss of lives.

A person with the mental capability to take people’s lives needs to be seen by a medical professional. We can all do better to improve not only mental health, but safety in our school system.