The impact of school lockdowns: Creating risk for students and interrupting education

Image from DALL·E.

Imagine yourself, on a normal morning, sitting at school in your class, going on with your daily routines, when out of nowhere a lockdown order is said over the intercom. Everyone looks around for a couple seconds, then you do what your teacher is telling you to do; your teacher will give you instructions on what to do like being quiet, hiding, and being on your best behavior since lives are at risk. While you are in a dark room you try to brush it off, thinking it must just be a drill, but the thoughts start running faster and faster through your mind. Who knows what is happening outside, and how bad it really is? This is what numerous students across the state went through on October 12th, 2022 all due to a simple “prank call.”

On what individuals thought to be just an average Wednesday, “false reports of school shootings were called into numerous police departments throughout the Bay Area and the state, initiating lockdowns at a number of school campuses,” as said by CJ Cammack, the superintendent of the Fremont Unified School District. Moreover, one of these calls was to a neighboring Fremont Unified school: Irvington High School. 

Ashley K, a 12th grader at Irvington High School, described the events that took place on that day. She vividly explained how she didn’t know what was happening and her mind started going all over the place trying to figure out what was taking place. She felt “really scared, not only for my life, but everyones.” Ashley then went on to explain how especially in today’s time, you never can know what will happen. “Never take anything for granted,” she explained. She concluded her interview with the fact that, ”school is supposed to be a place where I am supposed to feel safe, and if anything did happen, I don’t think anything would’ve been the same. It’s just really sad to think that our reality of life has come to this.”

Any normal person would understand that this “prank” is completely unacceptable, especially in the world we currently live in. School shootings are something that actually occur, in our nation especially, and innocent lives are being taken away. In addition to the chaos these calls caused, they also took away the time of emergency services that may have been needed in other locations. “The harm they cause is unacceptable, dangerous and real.” said Ashely.

Thankfully, these calls were only fake, and everyone affected ended up safe. This event could have occurred to any school, even our very own Washington High School. A fellow student Gurveer Singh said, “I think it is really interrupting the education of the younger generation since when the threat comes the school has choice but to go on lockdown and I think it is wasting the precious time that can be used productively for school and education.” He also said, “Again, I think it really is a disgusting thing to do, threatening the lives of the younger generation. To me it is always important to always be prepared, and to reach out if you, or anyone needs help. It is up to society to bring an end to these tragedies occurring over the nation.”

Manjinder Singh is a Junior at Washington High School. He grew up in Union City, and he moved to Fremont when he was six years old. This is his first year at the Washington High School newspaper, The Hatchet. He is interested in sports and technology. During his free time he enjoys spending time with friends and family. Additionally, he likes playing sports (specifically basketball). His future plans are to spend two years at Ohlone community college and to transfer to a UC. He has a strong will, and believes he can do anything he puts his mind to.

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