Lockdown on October 6: Needed or not?

With the recent lockdown, do you feel that the current procedure was effective in making sure everyone was safe?

On October 6, around 10:50 a.m.,  all of the schools on Gull Lake’s main campus were put into an external lockdown.  The cause of the lockdown happened to be an adult and two middle school students, who spotted a middle-aged male walking down D Avenue with a rifle slung over his shoulder. Upon discovering that the supposed threat was nothing to worry about, all of the schools, besides the high school, were told to end the external lockdown. Meanwhile, the high school was put into an internal lockdown, due to threats of an armed clown present inside of the school. After cops and school administrators had searched the premises, it was declared that the school was clown free, and the lockdown was the over.

Although there was not a threat to the schools, the fact that the district was put under a lockdown was a very smart and precautionary action. If the man was truly heading towards the schools, and they were not under a lockdown, the students would be in a much more vulnerable state and could have posed a dangerous threat. It was a relief that it was more a drill than a true lockdown, but even the practice of an external lockdown taught everyone what it would truly be like if there was ever a reason that was a true threat.

The internal lockdown was a similar situation; it was purely precautionary. What if someone was truly inside of the school with a gun, threatening so many lives and potentially ending some, but there was no lockdown? The school district could definitely be sued and many students could have been injured. The school did what was necessary  protect themselves and all of its students.

The teachers and other faculty members who were trying to deal with the situation at hand had no idea what exactly was going on, so they weren’t sure of what actions should be taken. Normally, all the faculty members would be informed of the situation specifically but since the principal was not in the building he was unable to complete the task. Since the teachers were not aware of any specifics the lockdown everything that occurred was a good way to ensure safety.

As the students were locked in classrooms many of them were on their cellphones texting parents and fellow students trying to discover what was happening. As usual many students were on social media, which is the cause of the situation ricocheting into clowns being inside the school. The use of social media should be prohibited during lockdowns because it allows the situation to escalate. Although texting was a good way for students to communicate with each other making sure everyone was okay and informing teachers if someone was in danger, social media remained the problem. If there was a way for students to text and not be able to access social media it’d be the best option.

The student who reported the so called “clown,” had heard other rumors and was genuinely scared for his/her life and the lives of others. The school administrators simply did what they thought was right, all while trying to deal with the situation correctly and safely. Students and teachers had no inkling of what was happening and were truly terrified for their safety. Of course, everyone did jump to the conclusion of a gunman and/or clowns, due the current hysteria on social media and past situations. The situation the Gull Lake school district was in was definitely rough considering at the time no one truly knew what was happening. Everyone had to go off an assumption while trying to decipher what to do in order to stay safe. The lockdowns were definitely a smart move by the district’s administrators.

By Courtney Pedersen

COUNTERPOINT: Paranoia spikes at Gull Lake High internal lockdown

On Thursday, October 6, Gull Lake went into an external lockdown drill. For precautionary reasons, the high school, middle school, Ryan Intermediate and all elementary schools in the district were put into an external lockdown. Each school was released from the lockdown at the same time–except for the high school. The high school went into an internal lockdown after multiple reports from inside the school claimed that there was a clown and guns inside the school. A student had informed a parent of the possible threat, leading to the parent calling it into the school. Along with this, a social media page about clowns at Gull Lake was created, furthering the possibility of there being a real threat. 

Let’s get this out of the way, the external lockdown was something that was needed. It didn’t disrupt class–it kept everyone safe, and it provided protection to the students in case the man on D Avenue was going to threaten anyone at any of the schools. That’s not the problem that needs to be addressed. What needs to be talked about is why the high school thought it was necessary to go into an internal lockdown.

Seeing recent events, one might think it would be reasonable to go into the internal lockdown. We’ve had a massive clown hysteria around the area, so everyone is a bit on edge about the particular issue. But, to take the word of a parent whose only evidence or worry was, “my son/daughter told me so” is absolutely absurd. Remember, this wasn’t a bomb threat. It was a clown threat. That the school took way too seriously.

What’s even more ridiculous is that we let an anonymous group on social media go this far with the prank. The internal lockdown did not last for just three or five minutes, it lasted for quite sometime and had many students worried that there was a real threat inside of the school. Nobody reported that it was a prank or even decided that, “maybe the threat of a clown in our school is just a tad bit ridiculous.”

Well congratulations, whoever started this all, you got exactly what you wanted.

I haven’t really even covered the hysteria that is caused. Many classrooms had students armed with scissors, bats, pencils, etc. Teachers were ready to slash up some psychopath who wanted to end all of their lives. One classroom didn’t even have a teacher, just a bunch of clueless kids wondering if this was all real. Many students were worried sick, and parents were shooting texts and calling students wondering what was even happening. This was because students also decided to ignore the teacher’s request to not use their phones, making the situation blow up more than it need to. It was just a massive ball of chaos that could’ve been completely avoided if maybe one or two people decided to use their common sense and know that this was nothing more than a mere prank.

What’s really frustrating about the entire event is how it turned from nothing into something huge due to the immaturity of a certain student and the use of social media. Not only did the internal happen due to social media, but many parents were informed about the drill through students sending panicked text messages to them. This only fueled the flame and made everything 10 times worse than it originally was. What really needs to be focused on is the restriction of phones and other devices during any kind of lockdown. During an external, phones and Chromebooks should be collected in case some different student decides to also pull a prank like this again. Hopefully it’ll cut down on the risk of more ridiculous lockdowns in the future and help the students learn a little bit of maturity and responsibility.

By Tyler Grosser

POINT: External and internal lockdown deemed necessary

Courtney Pedersen

Courtney Pedersen

My name is Courtney Pedersen and I'm a senior. For the Reflection I primarily write news and feature stories. I am the news and media editor. I also am heavily involved in TAB, PAC, Spanish Club and the literary magazine.

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