Last week, Edison students were met with an unexpected interruption to the school day. Nearing the end of first period at about 10 a.m., they were instructed to evacuate under the guise of a routine fire drill.
Around 8:39 a.m., Edison High School principal, D’liese Melendrez, received an anonymous threat email. According to Huntington Beach Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Marlatt, the email “advis[ed] there was a bomb, but did not specify a date or time, but stated the library and English hallway should be checked.” While no bomb was found, several students report seeing a suspicious abandoned backpack in the English hallway before zero period which begins at 8:37 a.m. on Mondays.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad teams and dogs conducted a thorough search of the campus. Meanwhile, students waited in anticipation on the recreational field behind the school. A voicemail alerted parents of the situation, creating a flurry of phone calls and texts from bewildered family members of both students and faculty.
After two hours on the recreation field, the prevailing sentiment amidst students was a mix of confusion, fear, and an appreciation for being able to miss second and third period. Upon being asked how they felt about the threats, Aby Barkman proclaimed “I am so glad I am not in class right now!”. Others even said, “I wish this happened during finals week.” – Elizabeth Hong.
Luckily few students doubted that they were in good hands.
“I feel like the school has a good system in not making us worry or get panicked in cases of emergency. I feel safe and under protection due to the work of the police and faculty, who ensure we are out of harms way” said Melanie Ensciso.
Mathematics teacher Rachel Wentworth said, “I am conflicted. I am glad that administration and police take our safety so seriously.”
On a more somber note, others felt the event to be indicative of the culture of fear so prevalent in American society today.
A senior who did not wish to be named expressed his worry in the wake of recent American school massacres, “I am feeling concerned for my life. How do we know we’ll make it? How do we know we won’t be like the other schools?”
English teacher Lissie Barro said, “I feel that this is what our society has come to. I feel sad that we have to be afraid all the time.”
— Emi Yasuda, Editor-in-Chief of The Bolt and the Edison Yearbook