Administration must improve security

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Administration must improve security

In March of this year, the Bull’s Eye published an Eye of the Editors article addressing the responsibility of the school administration to improve security in the case of school shootings or other threats on campus. At the time, school administration said it was stepping up security on campus and addressing the issue. Not even six months later, the chaos and disorganization at this year’s Branding Iron has proved that security policies and communication at Diamond Bar High School have yet to be improved.

Multiple students have reported that police were seen talking to administration well before students began to panic. Despite this, there was no official announcement or explanation that the threat was not credible until the premises had been almost completely evacuated. Students were left to believe that there was an active shooter on campus without any explanation or procedure from those meant to keep us from danger.

  While the threat might not have been real, the fear that students faced was. Those in the bleachers that evening witnessed the complete lack of guidance from administration as students began to scatter, jumping fences and sprinting off campus. Football players were the first to leave the field, without any official announcement to the rest of the stadium. Students have not been trained for any sort of evacuation from the football field, and were left to their own devices amidst genuine fear for their lives.

Thousands of Diamond Bar High School parents and students have now signed a petition to increase security on campus. Social media has exploded with posts expressing how terrified students were. It’s clear that our students no longer feel safe in light of recent events. Students should never be left to fear for their lives if administration has been aware that a threat isn’t credible.

If school officials receive word from authorities that there is any sort of threat on campus, students should know about it immediately. The out-of-control reaction from students is attributed to the lack of communication and inability from administration to properly inform and train teachers for this sort of situation.

The popularity of the petition shows that students have taken that fear to demand action from DBHS administration. In light of what has happened at schools across the country, the administration has no excuse for students and teachers not being trained to evacuate the football field safely. They have no reason to assume that students wouldn’t take a rumor of an active shooter seriously and want to escape the premises immediately.

As social media allows misinformation and panic to blaze through a community like wildfire, we need to hold those in charge responsible for properly informing our students and keeping them trained and educated in what to do in life-threatening situations.

Policies addressing safe evacuation from football games, rallies and other school events should be established and taught to students. Drills need to be taken seriously and addressed by every teacher and student. Students should never be left to find out for themselves what is going on in situations that can be easily misinterpreted.

As the dust settles after the incident, students shouldn’t be left feeling as if their lives will be  in danger if a real situation occurs. It’s up to DBHS administration to maintain clear communication and implement policies that will allow students to feel secure  and prepared on campus.

 

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Panic at Branding Iron