Both Sides

Kiara Lathers and Taiasia Chapel

Everyone knows about the school shooting about the lockdown that recently happened at Parkland High School that occured on March 5th 2018. This is a story or two people’s perspectives.  People can live through the same event and have totally different experiences. We have the perspective of a student regarding the lockdown, Sabrina Dunkinsell and we also have the perspective of the principal’s secretary Joan Smith.

Sabrina and Joan didn’t expect for the loc down to be so unorganized. The lockdown happened on March 5th around 9am that morning. We are going to share what happened to Sabrina and her experience of being in a classroom on the 2nd floor of the english building. Joan also shared her opinion of the lockdown from her experience in the office.

Sabrina explains why she doesn’t like how it went down she explains how, “it was unorganized and parents didn’t find out until hours later about the actual problem.” She also states “in lockdowns, parents don’t come until afterwards which makes problems worse,’ and ‘there was not a good plan to have parents pick up their children.”

It seemed unorganized, the instructions from the administration were not clear, and some teachers didn’t know what they were doing. The subs were lost too but it wasn’t their fault that they didn’t know what to do. It was because they were given only a little information so they got confused and didn’t know what to do.

Mrs.Smith expresses how difficult it was for both the teachers and students. The process was taking forever, people that were answering phones in the office had to answer rude calls from parents. Parents wanted to know sooner about the lockdown and admin had multiple things to deal with all at once.

Smith says, “It was kind of stressful for us, we had to make time to tell investigators more information including the lockdown. The police were telling me and the office what to do since this was the first time this has happened here.”

It was difficult for the office team because they had to make sure nothing happened to students and to be aware of what exactly was happening around the school which means put the school on lockdown, call the police, and answer calls. “Letting parents know right away about the lockdown or as soon as possible would have been a better plan,” she admitted.

“The school would have had to just let parents know not come to the school so that and he school authorities could do their jobs. Parents should let the school authorities do what they do and trust them,” Smith said.

It would have been better if the office gave more information to the parents when they called home and told them we had a lockdown and also add to the call ‘please don’t pick up your kids’. Because the parents could have also gotten hurt to if there was an actual shooting.


Dunkinsell thinks teachers need more drills because if this were to really happen kids would’ve been more scared because the teachers didn’t know what to do. She recalls that she was really mad about how the lockdown went in general. “I had to leave school late, like around 1pm,” she states.

Some teachers didn’t know what to do because this has never happened to River City before and teachers probably were in shocked when it happened. Some teachers probably didn’t understand the directions that they were given it because they were confusing.

       Substitutes had a first time experience of a lock down so some teachers probably didn’t know what to do, mainly because it happened so quickly.

“I should have told the subs what to do instead of emailing them, knowing some of them don’t have a school email,” Smith evaluated.

The office apologized for the lack of aid. Like what Mrs.Smith said, it was the first time they had experienced something like this so, they tried to do everything to keep everyone safe. Even though they probably didn’t know what to do they they still tried to protect us and made sure that nothing happened because even though it was just a threat it could have ended up being worse. Therefore the teachers and students did an excellent job.

Dunkinsell says, “the teachers specific directions was to stay down, turn off the lights and told us to be quite.” That’s what most of the teachers told the students. She explains how she didn’t feel safe through, the lockdown.

“I honestly don’t feel safe because I feel like there’s lots of threats towards the school or the students who use to go here and just don’t like the teachers, students, etc. My parent didn’t want me to go to the school until the students was no longer on campus.” I think it was kind of scary because that could really happen to any school, and for no students to actually die or just injured at River City, I strongly believe that we were really lucky,” she expressed.

“I think if the shooter was brave enough, they could have; if they got a opportunity, they would have. I went to the walk out because I wanted to show my respect to the students that died at the Florida high school shooting and pay my respects,” Dunkinsell said. The walkout happened a month after the lockdown. Most of the people went to the walkout to show respect and contradict gun violence.

“I think what they could have done differently by staying organized and staying calm through the situation.” They tried to stay calm during this event but, they didn’t know what would happen. Because of what happened at the other schools, they didn’t know what to think anymore.

“This had effected a lot of students and teachers but I know this did affect me because I don’t think I can ever feel safe at school again knowing someone did something like this,” Dunkinsell expressed.

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