The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Elise Wang:
2013 Winner
I.S. 227

Elise Wang

Winning Essay

The second deadliest school shooting in United States history took place on December 14, 2012. Twenty year-old Adam Lanza killed six adults and twenty children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Americans are now more concerned than ever about making more stringent gun control laws. Fortunately, school shootings happen rarely and are uncommon. However, a plan should be in place at every school to prevent more incidents of this sort.

Some citizens believe that schools should have armed guards and it’s not a bad method. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A. vice president. The police’s main job is to protect the people, thus more deaths will be prevented.

Counseling also helps shootings from happening as well. Most shootings that happen in schools are due to retaliation or lack of attention at school. Those students usually had been bullied or abused at school and felt that they have been severely wronged. They want to retaliate against those who have wronged them. There are other reasons, like peer pressure, boredom, fear, mental disorders, firearm availability or violent influences like video games or violent songs.

In other situations the student, who is being ignored, may feel as if their lives don’t matter to anyone. In situations like school shootings, the student feels that if they make a large enough scene, they will receive attention. Counseling will help students who are having problems by changing their mind and making them understand violence isn’t a way to solve the situation because it will make it worse.

Although having armed guards and increased counseling is a great idea, there still are other ways to stop school shootings. One such method is to hold lockdown drills in case an intruder comes into the school. During this drill all the doors should be locked and all windows should be covered. The lights should be turned off and everyone should remain quiet. These drills can help students and staff members prepare for an incident like the one that happened at Sandy Hook. These drills can be practiced a few times a year.

Another method is to install lockable and bulletproof doors for classrooms and school entrances. This would greatly reduce the likelihood of another school shooting. Even though the cost might be great, it will help avoid future incidents. And who can say that saving one child’s life is not worth spending the money?

Numerous methods can help protect school children from school shootings. I believe that having armed guards and having more counselors and counseling programs may help. A lockdown drill should also be performed a couple of times during the school year to practice what to do during an incident, and schools should install lockable doors and bulletproof windows. It is about time the government should use these suggestions to protect us. Student’s lives are more important than saving money.



We would like to wish Elise Wang the best of luck moving on to Stuyvesant High School. Congratulations!

My name is Elise Wang. I’m fourteen years old and was born in March of 1999. I am currently in 8th grade attending Louis Armstrong Middle School. Although I will miss middle school greatly, I will also be looking forward to high school. I got accepted to Townsend Harris as well as Stuyvesant, however I choose Stuyvesant because I tend to enjoy math and science more.

Attending Louis Armstrong Middle School has been a wonderful experience. I first enrolled in Louis Armstrong Middle School in 5th grade. At first, I felt so small in a large school knowing barely anyone. However as I grew older, I made more new friends and meet new teachers. The teachers at Louis Armstrong Middle School are wonderful. They are always there for you and can help you with anything. I would like to thank Mrs.Paskewitz and especially Ms. Ryan for helping me give suggestions on how to improve my essay.

I think I live an average teenage life. During my free time, I like to go on social medias. I love listening to music and I also like to study during my free time. Although I usually get called a “nerd”, I’m fine with that because I really enjoy learning new things. I feel a great pride if I get a good score on my test or like my report card because it shows that my hard work paid off.

I really enjoy reading and its one of my favorite things to do. To be honest, I never truly disliked a book. I think books are filled with knowledge and creativity. One of the recent books I read and enjoyed was the “Life of Pi”. The author did a great job describing the characters, the setting and the plot of the book and I was hooked right away. However, I can’t really choose an all time favorite book because I enjoy every one of them.

I also enjoy writing. I think I am more confident in writing informative/research essays than any other writing pieces. I also enjoy writing poetry and fiction as well.

I am extremely delighted to get this award. This is one of my very most memorable moments that I won’t forget. Thank you so much. I would like to thank my parents and teachers for helping me become the person I am today. I would also like to thank Al and Maureen Santora. Christopher is a great and fearless hero that gave up his life to help save others. Lastly, I want to thank the judges for selecting my essay out of the many other great ones.


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