Hollywood High suffers from emergency unpreparedness

photo credit: CBSLA


Christian Roque

Crimson Chronicle Reporter

The lockdown that the school was under on Wednesday was, at best, a shoddy attempt at protecting its students. Not only was it filled with glaring flaws that need to be addressed so that they are not to be repeated in the future, but it also serves as a showcase of the school’s lack of skill in handling emergency situations.

The most obvious problem was that the school was still expecting students to enter the school when there was, by all accounts, a potential threat in the area surrounding the school, and they made them wait outside to even get in in the first place. In that time, the students were thus more highly exposed to it than they would’ve been if they were let inside quickly.

The school did a terrible job at keeping students updated on the situation so as to keep them reassured. There were only two announcements made over the intercom after the school had been under lockdown for close to an hour just to announce that the police had the situation under control. For that whole hour, nobody except (presumably) the staff knew if the threat was being handled, if that threat was on campus, and how long we could expect to be under lockdown. All they knew was that there was “police activity” going on in the area, and they wouldn’t have even known that if a text wasn’t sent to their parents and not the students as well.

On top of that, people were reportedly going in and out of classrooms when the doors to the classrooms were supposed to be shut to prevent any potential attackers from going in. Teachers, staff, and any other adults on campus should be looking after students so that things like this don’t happen in a dangerous situation. Admittedly, they’re not completely at fault for this happening; it should be common sense that you don’t leave a room in a building that’s under lockdown.

Other things have highlighted the school’s incompetence when it comes to potential threats and emergencies; the mass shooting threat that loomed over the school shortly before Winter Break surely comes to mind. The school thought that they could entice students to come to school by increasing police presence on campus, but how exactly is that supposed to eliminate the possibility of students getting hurt should a shooting actually happen?

Back to the lockdown, you could say that the school was just caught off guard because they weren’t sure how to follow a lockdown protocol that’s mostly reserved for situations where a threat is posed to the school in the middle of normal operation. However, this doesn’t justify a poor execution of a lockdown; all it does is put it into perspective. They may have tried their best to keep the students safe, but their best was not enough, and the school should try harder to prepare itself for these events. They need to make sure that they keep students informed, supervised, and prioritized above things like attendance (which did not seem to happen in the case of the shooting threat) in anticipation of and during emergency situations.

1 thought on “Hollywood High suffers from emergency unpreparedness

  1. It happened during a time of the school day that very few plans address, as students are arriving, you don’t want to create a situation where loads of people are coming in….and heaven forbid we let in an intruder who is wanting to do harm. Your other points are well taken. Thanks for addressing this difficult topic.

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