Violence in schools have been in the news for the past years as a matter of fact. It seems every other week there is some school that has been violated with the threat of violence. Many times from a student, rather than an outsider.
For the most part, in my small corner of the world this potential threat has not effected myself or my children. I can kiss my kids goodbye every morning with the thought, “It won’t happen here,” and this seems to get me through.
It hit close to home today with the soft lock down of Oak Forest High School with all three of my children in attendance. They tell me that the soft lock down has called a “Sit and hold” and they were instructed by an announcement to clear the hall ways and all class room doors were to be locked.
My children apparently hold my belief, “That it won’t happen here,” because they report that they were not scared. They felt safe the whole time with their teachers informing them that the Sit and Hold was only for procedural sake. It was reported that police were on the scene with a dog and they felt safe.
“There was no panic in the school and all the students followed the instructions by the administration”, said one Junior. Once the announcement came that there was to be an early dismissal, the student exited the school calmly and there was no panic.
It is reported by students from OFHS that yesterday a picture was released on Snap Chat of a student holding his back pack open with a gun inside. According to the High School, this picture was reported to administration who quickly turned the information over to the Oak Forest Police.
Today, random notes were left around the school threatening that a bomb was in the school. The notes were found by students and given to the administration. This has been verified by a press release sent from OFHS.
The two incidents are being investigated and it is said that they are not related. Speculation is that the school took these notes seriously and cleared the school immediately. Currently the Police are still on the scene and are conducting a search of the school with the aid of bomb-sniffing dogs. According to a message sent out by the school, the bomb threat was deemed to be a hoax and no bombs were found.
I commend the administration and the students of Oak Forest High School. Both of these incidents were brought to the attention of the administration only because student brought the information to them. This shows a maturity of these students and displays the trust that student have for the administration.
All the students of the school, did not panic, remained calm and followed all the instructions given to them. The administration took no chances with the threats and acted quickly for the overall safety of the students and staff, notifying the police and clearing the school.
Although, we live in unsure times and violence can strike even our small community, as a parent, I feel a small sense of relief knowing that our community is working together, our youth is displaying maturity and leadership and our school administration if looking out for the safety of our children. I will hug them a little tighter everyday because even in our little corner of the world, nothing is for sure.
School will reopen on January 21st, as scheduled, after a long weekend for an institute day on Friday and Martin Luther King. Jr. Day on Monday.