School threats affect students

It is not rare for schools to get a threat every once in a while. Chapin has gotten three threats in a single quarter alone, sending the school into lockdown one out of those three times. School threats are terrifying to hear about. Not only does it upset students, teachers, and parents, but it puts a stop to the current school day, keeping teachers from teaching and students from learning.

School threats don’t only happen at Chapin, but they often occur at schools all over the United States as well. Some of these threats have led into actual shootings themselves. There has been a total of 203 mass shootings in 2023 as of May 9. This statistic only represents America.

“I’m kind of desensitized, it’s not really a surprise to me but it does make me upset,” senior Sofia Acosta said.

Some students don’t feel safe coming to school as these events happen often.

“I do not feel safe, mostly because of the events that have been happening recently,” Sofia said.

In response to some of these school threats, backpacks have been banned during school hours. In an email sent by Principal Ragen Chappell, it was announced that during a backpack search authorities found a weapon in a students bag. Principal Chappell said that a backpack ban would be going into place on Monday, May 22.

No backpacks are allowed, and the only acceptable bags allowed in school are computer bags that were issued to students and purses five by seven inches. Anything else will be confiscated.

“I understand it. It’s a relatively easy response to an actual incident/threat. In the world we live in today, everyone is responsible to do their part in keeping our environment safe,” english teacher Norma Ortiz said. “Breaking down the all-in-one backpack into smaller bags makes concealing a weapon just a little more difficult for a bad actor.”

Backpack bans don’t make school threats completely avoidable, however. Even with bags gone, students can still conceal weapons in their pockets, pants, shirts, etc.

“If someone really wanted to bring a weapon to school all they would need is a little extra space in their shirt,” Sofia said. “Taking away our bags isn’t going to do a lot.”

Teachers agree that school threats will never go away with how our technology and social media is evolving. With social media, any student can say anything and easily get away with it. Unless there is proof that they are actually on school grounds with a weapon, which has happened here in the past.

“Not in this day and age! With the proliferation of violence throughout all walks of life in the U.S. and the anonymity that social media provides to make threats behind a screen, it will continue,” Ortiz said.

People who do make these threats should be punished. Students believe that they should be punished harshly.

“They should go to jail,” sophomore Abagail Stewart said.

Another student agrees and says it’s not something to throw around.

“They need a harsh punishment because it’s not something to joke around with,” Sofia said. “It’s a serious topic. You’re talking about people’s lives and putting them on the line.”

As far as current school safety goes, some believe that we’re already doing everything in our power to keep campus safe.

“Beyond more extreme measures such as metal detectors, we are already doing the best we can. So far, our society is hardening schools by implementing the locking of doors, enforcing visible IDs and dress code. But softer measures can also be taken like reducing class size so we can build relationships and get to really know our students,” Ortiz said.

The way authorities handle these threats already are good enough for people at school.

“If I hear that the school already knows about the threat, then they must already be on top of the situation,” Ortiz said.

If a threat is made, it can be punishable by law. When safety comes into the question, it is immediately taken seriously. Safety should be a top priority for everyone attending school.

“It’s not smart to threaten a school,” Abagail said.