ABC news coverage of San Marino High School's lockdown on Monday, March 4. (Image courtesy of ABC)
San Marino High School

Opinion: The morbid truth of San Marino’s lockdown

On Monday, San Marino High School had their second major lockdown in three years (the first being threats of a student shooter two years prior) as the FBI informed the administration of a tip delineating a school shooting planned to happen that day.

The campus was immediately put on lockdown for approximately three and a half hours, with students being released from their 7 a.m. zero period classes at 10:30 a.m. Most, if not all, local news outlets have reported on this event, but what they fail to report is the events that occurred within the classroom.

In the chemistry course held during the time slot, business proceeded as usual and even continued past the day’s workload. Students completed their “Solubility Races” lab that was originally allotted two days during the lockdown period. Zero period band and choir met up in the dance room for space and restroom facilities while students were allowed to participate in activities of their choosing.

But in the US history class that I was situated in, the first thought that came to mind as students frantically rushed in for the lockdown was the test we were scheduled to take would be postponed. And this was approximately 20 minutes before the classroom was smattered with laughter and even mahjong after the assistant principal came in to inform us that no active shooter was on campus as of yet.

Maybe it’s the fact that San Marino is renowned for its low crime rates or most students have had experience with this situation, but how can we be so quick to dismiss a life-or-death situation?

It’s absurd that we can see danger as an opportunity to advance curriculum or a much-needed break from school. Have we really become so desensitized to gun violence that we implicitly accept our fate when rumors of the Grim Reaper’s appearance circulate?

A little over a year has passed since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, yet the conditions of San Marino have remained unchanged, even with our school’s brush with firearms in 2016. The only stride the community has made was the aggrandizing number of policeman who showed up on Monday. The students, however, have lost their cognizance to the severity of these types of situations.

I remember during my freshman year how stifling the silence and fear was, how no classrooms dared to venture outside or even use the bathroom unless some safeguard was utilized. Now however, we wave to the helicopters in the sky and joke around about our close-ups as we travel brazenly across the school campus.

San Marino is supposed to be smart, supposed to be the #1 public unified school district in California in terms of test scores. But threats, even ones that foreshadow our demise, cannot be seen at face value because of the way the nation treats them as such.

We were shocked at the horrendous violence in Parkland, Florida, we sent our “thoughts and prayers,” and that’s it. We talk to give the impression that gun control is the conversation of the decade when, in reality, the discussion is being sidelined while Kardashian drama snags headlines.

The debate isn’t over though. We can’t sit here blissfully resigned just because we haven’t had another major shooting to capture the woes of America nationwide. We have to continue in our attempts to change the present so that the circumstances of the past cannot be repeated, and not just for Florida, but for all schools that now face the looming danger of on-campus gun violence.

Keep the conversation alive. Because my life should not be second-place to a lab report or a test.

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