French exchange students involved in second incident

Christina Liu, Staff writer

For the second year in a row, the French student exchange program has been marred by an incident outside of the school. On March 1, a photo was posted showing French students posing with guns.

Last year, the exchange students were discovered to have attended a party with DBHS students where alcohol was served.  

To prevent the issue from repeating this year, the host families were instructed to “distance yourself and your Frenchies from illegal activities during their stay” and “if your Frenchie wants to pursue illegal activities, let Mr. Tietz know immediately” in the terms and conditions they signed.

A DBHS student alerted school officials to the posting of the photograph showing French students posing with firearms. According to host student Davis Li,  his father—who is licensed to possess firearms—offered to show the French students how firearms worked since they had never seen actual firearms.

It is unlikely for students to ever come across firearms of any kind in France unless they are part of the military.

Li’s father took precautions to keep the French students safe and ensured that the firearms were not loaded during his explanation of them.

“I think it was just a really big misunderstanding and that the picture was taken in bad context, so I don’t want it to reflect the program,” junior Li said.

After the photo was reported to the school administration, the Walnut sheriff department was called and investigated the situation, according to an email DBHS Principal Reuben Jones later sent out to parents.

They determined that there was no actual threat.

However, all 12 of the visiting French students were told to leave their hosts’ homes a day early and stayed in a nearby Motel 6.

Additionally, the school conducted a thorough investigation to clarify the situation, according to Davis Li.

“If it really did make someone scared, I’m really sorry about that. I obviously want to be safe at school as anyone else does,” Li said.

Following the investigation, Jones sent out an email to all parents and students to emphasize that there was no threat made directly to the school, and to ask parents to “talk with your sons and daughters about the importance of if they ‘See Something, Say Something.’”

French teacher Anthony Tietz refused requests to offer details about the incident.

Assistant Principal David Hong said that the school takes every threat seriously and will take the necessary precautions to ensure students’ safety.

“I don’t think it’s the French students’ fault,” Li said. “They were really trying to not get in trouble this year.”