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Your Stories On The Lockdown

By Emi Ambory in Student News

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Principal Stensrud

“The district, with really good intent, tries to get information out quickly. But that just caused more panic. Because when we put the school on lockdown, the police put it on the scanner, and the Boulder Daily Camera immediately puts it on their website. So we have kids on lockdown looking at that. [District] communications is trying to put out information, but they’re not putting it out to kids. Why is is that every parent gets an email, a text, and a phone call and the [the students] don’t, even though [their] phone numbers are on Infinite Campus? [...] No one at Fairview got [information about the lockout] until 7:47. So why the delay of 20 minutes? That’s because they were calling the main office. What’s our phone line like that time of morning? They couldn’t get through. You know what they do have? My cell phone. I’m required to have this 24/7. I think it was the delay of 20 minutes that made a huge difference. If I had found out at 7:20, I would have been on the phone with the police, asking what they wanted us to do. [...] I got a text message that it was a lockout at 7:58, because it cycles through so it doesn’t go to everybody at the same time. So that text message is 15 minutes behind. But, some people got the text that it was a lockout after the text that it was a lockdown. That has to be worked out by the district. [They] have to figure out some way it can all go out at once. [...] The kids did a great job of looking down. We practice so kids can do the right thing. One thing we realized that we need to work with kids is switching from a lockout to a lockdown. If we change from lockout to lockdown, that means the threat is in the building and you should get the hell out [if you’re near an exit or in the Student Center]. Run, run as far as you can. [...] It was reported that it was a white case. I have a shotgun and I have a hunting rifle. I’ve never seen a hunting case that’s white. Is it a violin case? Is it a banjo case? I was thinking, I know we’re getting ready for Pops. So we go check band, choir, and orchestra. But by the time we reach our third classroom in the English hall, one girl says ‘Colorguard.’ So I pull Infinite Campus on my phone, and we find out his room. Was it perfect? No. Can it be better? Absolutely. Does it need to be better? It does. I think 4 things can make it better: cameras [inside and at the entrances]; the communication has to be better between [district, us, and the police]; new loudspeakers, [since most don’t work]; and we need to make sure every teacher knows what to do.”

 

Lita Bacus, freshman

“The sub just took attendance and [the class was] warming up when the announcement came on. We all tried to get under the stairs and sit down, but someone turned off the lights before a few other people and I could make it [down]. We sat in the dark for a while, not really knowing what was happening. I think emails were sent out, but my phone was in my backpack. We sat there [for 20 minutes] and then Principal Stensrud and two police officers walked in. They asked if anyone had a white case. People started whispering to each other. [...] My case is white… but with stickers on it; but it is still white. Wouldn't stickers be the identifying marker, [not the color]? I sort of remember timidly standing up, but still being not totally sure what to do. Then they pointed to my case specifically and I kind of raise my hand. Then they told me to stand up. I think they needed to see what I was wearing. They said I wasn't in trouble and I could tell that they knew it wasn't me, because my case was open, revealing an instrument shaped hole. But they had to check if I was the report so they could end the lockdown. They asked some questions about which entrance I came in, what my backpack looked like, etc...then they left and the room was dark again. I guess at this point we at least knew what was going on, but me and my stupid, little brain replayed the whole thing over and over again. I was weirdly dislocated from reality in those last minutes? But then I started to worry about how I was responsible for the whole lockdown, and all of these scared students. I had to reassure myself that if someone were to sneak a gun into school that it wouldn't be a bright, noticeable white case, and how they wouldn't be walking with a group of friends, or how there are plenty of other people with white cases, right? None of this is true of course. [...] I kind of just separated myself from it. I don't think I ever let it sink in.”

Gray Freeman, junior

“The lockdown started and I tend to jump into paranoid mode in every situation. I was in the Science lecture hall and my seat is pretty near the door. I found myself immediately assuming the worst and assuming a shooter was in the building. So I curled up in a ball and placed my backpack in front of my abdomen and head. My thought process being that if someone ran into the room shooting, I would be able to protect my vital organs. I texted my mom, my dad, and my brother that we were in a lockdown, that we didn’t know what was going, and- playing it safe- told them that I loved them and hoped it would be ok. My mom and dad responded and tried to calm me down. My brother isn't responding so that made it hard for me to control my breather and stay calm. I started running through different scenarios in my head. There are two doors in the hall and so I planned for what I do if the shooter entered in one door ort the other. I started thinking if I could do anything to combat the shooter- like if I would charge at it. But I mostly was assessing if I would be able to take action rather than stay frozen in shock. [...] I don’t know what would have actually happened if there was a shooter. I don’t know what I actually would do. I’m a big supporter of common sense gun control. I think when I was sitting there, wondering if I would be able to combat the shooter, I realized that an armed teacher would be just as unsure of whether they'd be mentally or physically capable of taking action. So this confirmed my belief that arming teachers isn’t a solution in the case of school shootings. [..] It’s terrifying for me to walk into my classroom and my first thought to be ‘what are the exit points?’”

 

Nyree Christianian, junior

“I was in catering first period but I had an FBLA meeting so I had been at school early. My mom called me as soon as I walked into catering, asking if everything was okay, because she had gotten the email. I said ‘yeah’, because I had no idea what was going on. About 2 minutes later we were put on lockdown. That kind of scared me because they had been in contact with the parents so this was obviously not a drill. So we’re in the closet and there’s no word of what’s happening, so I’m going through all the potential situations in my head and then I hear it’s a potential shooter. That really freaked me out because it was literally two days after the walkout… the irony. I was thinking about game plans in my head, which was a bit a ridiculous because obviously if it was a shooter I would totally freeze. But there are knives in the catering closet so I thought everyone could throw them if a shooter came. After, the lockdown was done, and I thought about how scared I was and what I texted my parents and the important people in my life. I have a group chat with my friends and the text messages in that were so scary. Saying ‘I don’t know what’s going on but I love you guys’ was really scary because that just made it really real. This all solidified the thought that there could be a shooting, in Boulder. I knew that this was an important issue but this [lockdown] made it personal.”

 

Alex Curtis, junior

“I don’t have a first period. So as I was waking up my mom got a call that [Fairview] was entering a lockout. I thought to myself ‘It’s probably just a bear or a mountain lion or something along those lines.’ So I keep getting ready and my mom gets another call that says it’s been upgraded to a lockdown. And at that point I was really confused. My mom didn’t want me to go and wanted me to wait at home until it passed. But I said I would just go to King Soopers and get a coffee and keep checking the news to see when it passed. On the way there, thoughts were racing through my head: ‘What if it’s a shooter? What if there was someone with a gun with bad intent, trying to get into the school and trying to do terrible things to people I know?’ I was really worried for my friends who were in the building. It was one of the scariest things because I wasn’t there. I didn’t know if it was a bear… or something much worse. Living in Boulder, CO, we usually hear about shootings from other states, from other places. But since it was my school, since it was in Boulder, I have friends there… this lockdown made me realize how real [the threat of mass shootings] are. Having seen something on the news doesn’t have the same effect of it having happened to you.”

Elli Weber, junior

“I had just left my class to go to the library to go get the big sheets of paper for our projects. I was with 10-15 other kids from my class. Me and my friend were just about to leave the library when the announcement came on the loudspeakers. We started freaking out because we didn’t really know what to do. We asked the volunteer librarian and she said we should try to go back to our class. We walked back because we didn’t think it was like an actual big deal; we thought it was a drill. As we passed other classes, they yelled at us to get in but we said that we were fine and we were going back to our classes. They told us to start running. So, suddenly everyone is running from the 400 hall to the 600 hall. We start knocking on our classroom door but no one made any noise. So then everyone else I was with went to the bathrooms but I went back to the library. I was stuck in the library conference room and that was not fun because the kids I was with would not stop talking. I realized it wasn’t a drill when my mom called me and her voice was shaky- which it never is. I knew that something bad was happening, even though nothing did happen, it really felt liked it would. I felt nervous, but safe, because I started to think about how there were a lot of places to escape from.”

 

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