Students need to be prepared to handle any situation on campus, now more important than ever

Olivia Mendoza

Over the span of one month the lives of everyone on campus have been endangered, twice. November brought forth uncalled times for students, faculty, and staff who were all affected by the actions of those who sought to seek destruction. While these events created an immense amount of fright, there are also lessons to be learned.

Ever since stepping on this campus, students have known how to write academic papers and learn other languages; but when it counts, do they know what to do in the event of a situation where their life is in danger? For the longevity of teenagers’ lives, they have been taught to hide in a classroom, and barricade the doors. However, it does not have to get to that point. Students are the voice of the campus, and in these circumstances, they need to feel prepared at all times before the situation escalates. 

“I felt both unprepared and prepared. I was in shock and I did not feel prepared for a gun scare to happen so suddenly,” freshman Kaitlyn Min said, in regards to the November 19th lunchtime scare. “My parents had prepared me for school shootings but feelings and emotions got in the way of my preparedness.” 

After spending an entire year on distance learning due to COVID-19, students have forgotten what it is like to be in an environment that brings about unknown dangers. From being in complete isolation to collaborating with individuals in which their intentions are unknown, safety measures must be taken even more seriously than before. 

“We just need to do those drills again,” AP Government teacher Taylor Clark said. “It has been a while since students have been on campus, but I think that a lot of students handled themselves well during the lock down.” 

On November 4th, students reported that in the boy’s restroom, there was a threat on the wall stating that someone was going to partake in a school shooting, and warned others to not come the following day. On the 5th, over 50% of the student body stayed home as the photo spread quickly on social media. 

November 19th brought forth another wave of panic as fireworks were set off during the lunch period, followed by a food fight in the front of the quads, where students mistook apples for variations of bombs. Chaos struck as students ran out of school, or hid in classrooms during the announced lock down. Police units and a helicopter flew over campus in response to the scene in less than five minutes. 

Deputy Cordero, Ayala’s school resource officer, worked on both of these cases to determine the severity of scenes. Other than preparing in the form of lock downs in classrooms, he offers advice.

“Be aware of your surroundings, your location, where you’re at, and who’s around you at all times,” Cordero said. “Know what to do and how you’re going to react to these things before something happens.” 

In efforts to spread this message around school, teachers are preaching to their students what to do in the event of an emergency. 

“I have a teacher who gives us monthly lectures about these situations and solutions for them,” Min said. “The environment, materials, and students play a part in the safety I feel in each of my classes.” 

Thankfully, these outbursts on campus have only been created by the jokers on campus. However, after the Oxford High School shooting, tensions are high for any suspicious behavior that is noticed by the students or faculty on campus. 

“This is just the start of your future endeavors, your future careers, your future goals. Don’t lose sight of that,”  Cordero said. “I think a lot of the times kids want to have fun, and we forget that some of these actions or some of these things that we decide to distract us from our main objective can have some negative results.”