Staff Editorial: We are the difference between an inconvenience and a tragedy

Featured photo by: Myriam Alcala –Rangeview parent and student meet after the two-hour lockdown on November 2, 2018. For a large portion of the lockdown, there was no way to communicate with people outside of Rangeview; many people were left in the dark and were assuming the worst.  

(Video Credits- video one: Bolu Folarin; video two: Myriam Alcala)

By: The Raider Review Staff

We will start with this: Thank you, unnamed Rangeview student or students, for speaking up when a threat arose on social media Friday. You immediately alerted authorities when you saw the alarming Snapchat of a student in our halls with a gun, and without your brave actions, the outcome could have been much worse.

Thanks to your quick actions, about 11:15 a.m. on Friday a message went over the intercom at Rangeview High School. It was the school’s principal, Ronald Fay, announcing that there was a threat in the school and students had to take cover — immediately.

Some students were in the commons or in other classrooms; some were outside. Everyone was living life as usual. It’s crazy how one moment, one message, and one threat changed that.

“Everyone in leadership ran onto the stage into a hiding area,” said junior Leslie Garcia. “We were all close to each other and hugging. People started crying […] I was scared the whole time, I was crying and really nervous.”

The leadership class — with 80 students — was stuffed into a small room with all the lights turned off.. Immediately, the room went dead silent.

Threats to individuals.

People dying.

School shootings.

Hatred.

It has all become normalized in our society. That’s what guns do: they take futures; they take lives. This is something many RHS students didn’t fully understand that until Friday.

Students walk out of the room they were stuck in for hours holding each other tight. As expressed, the outcome could have been worse, but thankfully it was reported and acted on. (Myriam Alcala)

One moment and one gun can decide whether or not you reach your dreams, or simply get added to the list of school shooting victims. Unfortunately, this is the truth we have to deal with every day — a constant threat of no tomorrow. This is serious, it’s real, and although the threat was discovered to be a BB gun, the trauma was and still is real.

The normalization of shootings, as aforementioned, can minimize the magnitude of seriousness threats receive. The entirety of the week, even in years prior, there would be a threat or two which surfaced the Internet. We were assured by the staff that everything was okay, but how do we really know if a threat is fake or real?

We, the students, have heard this same threat countless times in the past and have heard of the stories of other schools. It wasn’t that serious anymore — it happens so often that we just think, “Oh, but it won’t happen here.”

Despite the countless amount of threats in the past, the administration still made it their job to report to parents.

“I heard from Rangeview staff that there was a threat on Wednesday and that there were active shooter threats all week,” said Rangeview Alumni and sibling Diana Alcala. “They assured it was taken seriously.”

I feel that there could always be more done, however, the administration expressed the seriousness of threats prior, which encouraged the students to report the photo that surfaced Friday morning. The threat was reported by students, and without them — even if the threat wasn’t as catastrophic as it could’ve been — much worse outcomes could have been expected.

Although communication seemed to be lacking during the situation, students were never really told what was going on which caused even more panic and made many assume the worst, the silver lining was that there was enough trust within Rangeview that a student felt safe and inclined to speak up when she or he saw that notorious Snapchat post.

We would have much rather gone through what we did, flaws and lack of communication, instead of being in a situation where our friends, students, and teachers were limp, dead on the ground because no one had the courage to speak up.

Rangeview High School is just like any other school: We never thought this would happen. It’s hard to explain how real the threat is until you’ve experienced it first hand.

Students were released at around 1:00pm on Friday. Here, police are ensuring the evacuation went smoothly. (Myriam Alcala)

Junior Sierra Hunt, another student affected by the events of November 2nd, said, “All we could do is hold each other tighter, and I just grabbed onto anyone and everyone. I kept saying how much I loved everyone.”

The point is this: Every threat is real and should be reported. These threats probably exist in other schools as well; they’re probably made fun of and dismissed like ours. DO NOT let the normalization of shootings cloud the very real threats. Take our experience and my experience as a lesson.

One threat, no matter how big or small, should be enough to take action. It doesn’t matter how many threats came before it.

We, the 2,300 students of Rangeview, are the eyes and ears for our safety. Thanks to the student or students who reported the ill-informed Snapchat video Friday — let’s all follow their lead and keep our school and all schools safe.

If you see or hear anything suspicious, please contact a dean, counselor, or trusted adult. You can also make an anonymous report to Safe2Tell.

Editorial members: Dominique Harlan, Peter Vo, Irl Paulalengan, Yucheng Zhang, Bao Nguyen, Katiana Williams, Amor-Leigh Wilson, and Myriam Alcala

 

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