Safety first

Halloween is not the only event scaring Etowah’s students and staff this season. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, an undisclosed student sent out a bomb threat that forced Etowah to evacuate. While the police were able to arrest the student and confirm there was never a bomb, many were left on edge and are now concerned about their safety at school. 

“In my opinion, the bomb threat was nerve wracking and out of the blue. I felt scared because it was my first time having to evacuate school due to a threat of that sort. I think the school handled the bomb threat well because we got to go home early and get away from any possible threats,” Isaac Calderon, freshman, said. 

This was not Etowah’s first threat. In 2017, two students plotted to create a bomb and lead a mass assault on students and teachers at the school. Luckily, one student spoke up, and the police were able to stop them before they were able to follow through with their plans. If that student had not discovered the journal that the two aggressors had been scheming in, it is unknown as to what would have actually happened. In this recent threat, students across campus once again did the right thing by reporting the warning and make teachers aware of the message; though the police did not find a real bomb or authentic plan, Etowah was kept safe from another potential catastrophe.  

“I feel that Etowah handled the bomb threat the right way by sending the students home for our safety. I feel safe knowing that Etowah will put students first in these situations,” Emily Ivers, sophomore, said. 

While they hope they never have to go through a real-life procedure, Etowah has prepared its students for the worst. By ensuring that students and staff practice their various drills code red, orange, and yellow at least twice a year in case of a violent situation, they are equipping everyone with the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe while in school. Due to the 2017 incident, Etowah does not take school safety lightly, thus why they made the school evacuate after the recent threat, even though many felt the message did not appear to be authentic. Prioritizing safety and teaching kids what to do in a real event has helped many feel more secure and aware of what to do if something were to actually happen. 

“Etowah handled the bomb threat with an abundance of caution, and I feel that it was the best decision in this situation, even though it seemed fake,” Charlotte Luiña, junior, said.  

Despite Etowah’s efforts, many students still feel at risk while at school with the increasing amount of violence across the country and the idea that a real event almost occurred in the very classrooms they sit in every day. Some students, along with many parents, have expressed their concern about whether they truly feel Etowah is prepared for an actual threat. Every person must simply do their best to continue their daily lives as normal and put trust in the staff that they know how to keep them safe.  

“I think the fact that we have had two bomb threats just in recent years is terrifying. If school is not safe, I do not know where safe is. The thing that scared me the most about the latest threat is that someone thought it was okay, or even funny, to make a joke like that,” Priscilla Dice, senior, said. 

These situations are becoming more frequent across the country, which is why it is important that students know what to do when an event occurs in order to help ensure that Etowah stays safe. Never forget: “if you see something, say something.”