With a school shooting threat written in a bathroom, there was increased security on campus and low attendance from students in every grade level. According to data from administration, 236 elementary students, 379 middle school students, ad 453 high school students were not at school today. This totals about 55%, 61% and 56% of the respective groups absent. Although student absences were high, there were only nine faculty/staff absences reported, which is average for any given day. With this information, the Torch asked the Pine View community their thoughts on coming to school today with the threat still in place.
“It was pretty normal actually except that no one was there and there were a lot of cops… but I thought it was pretty cool that I was the only one there to take my AP Comp Gov final,” eleventh-grader Wes Baca said.
“One thing was that when anyone knocked on the door, everyone would tense up a little,” eleventh-grader Jono Smith said.
“When my mom heard about the threat, she told me there was no way that I was going to be allowed to go [to school]. I also had midterms so it gave me time to study,” eleventh-grader Ashley Pelton said.
“I wasn’t scared at all because a shooting could occur at any time. You have to be scared all the time. It could occur at a mall, here on some random day when the person doesn’t leave a message. It could occur at a store or a church or anywhere people congregate, so I wasn’t scared on this day in particular,” ninth-grader Vir Patel said.
“Honestly, if I didn’t have a midterm, I wouldn’t be here… The person who wrote [the threat] was either trolling or actually angry. You have to be going through or be mentally unstable to do something like that. Who in their right mind in this day and age would ever give a threat like that? There has been threats for this kind of stuff at Pine View, but this time it was real because news was covering it and it was all happening so fast. At first, I wanted to come here and have it be a regular day like how I thought it would be, but then a lot of people didn’t show up and some just went to first period and stuff…all that really scared me. I was legitimately scared of being here,” ninth-grader Rafeh Khan said.
“I chose to stay home because I decided that it was better to play it safe rather than risk being in a dangerous situation,” twelfth-grader Josh Cappelli said.
“I’m a bit tense at the moment, it’s been too quiet. But I do feel like with the extra security, I do feel a bit safer… I am very grateful for their being here today to help protect us, but again, I’m feeling rather tense still because anything could happen at any given moment… On the one hand, I still am able to get through the day as normal, but there’s not as many people around… two-thirds of the school is gone, and it feels so surreal. I hope everyone here is able to stay safe, stay calm, collected, and just try not let this get the best of anybody,” eleventh-grader Ethan Temple said.
“I feel safer than pretty much any other day because there’s always a threat, today there’s a lot more police patrolling. Last year there was a threat and they didn’t take it seriously at all, the kid got away pretty much scott-free, even though they found out who it was. I think this year they want to make more of an example of this kid, even though they can’t find them, I think they’re trying to demonstrate how seriously they’re taking it, considering there have been several mass shootings just in the last year. I personally think it was probably meant as a joke, but I think it should be taken 100% seriously and treated like an actual threat,” eleventh-grader Lucian Bathgate said.
“It doesn’t feel like it’s right before a break. Attendance is extremely low, there’s an interesting kind of vibe through the air that the students and I were trying to figure out exactly what it is—It’s a calm, but it’s nothing like we’ve ever really felt before. It’s quiet, it’s not that excitement like ‘break is coming,’ there’s not a lot of kids here… it’s more just sort of a quiet calm. And the weather—earlier it was kind of cloudy, and misty, and dark, and a little bit ominous. Definitely palpable, it was noticeable… Unfortunately, in today’s world, we have to take these things seriously. Parkland taught us a lot, Sandy Hook taught us a lot. Notes or no notes, I don’t think we can take it lightly, but I also don’t think we have to stop our lives. We do have to go forward. Safety measures are put into place, school is here, and here we are,” Spanish teacher Patti Gerlek said.
Story and quotes by Ella Hechlik, Naina Chauhan, Sarah Catalano, Lily Quartermaine, Alyson Mizanin, Mahitha Ramachandran and Felicity Chang.