On school safety threats – The Bucknellian | #schoolsaftey

Before I begin talking about the events that occurred Friday night and my experiences and viewpoints for it, I want to take time to share my sincerest condolences to all that knew Christian. Unfortunately, our paths never crossed, but after his passing I wish I had gotten to know him. It is interesting how when someone you didn’t even know dies, you wish that you had time to be a part of their life. Again, I wish all that did know him the best and I hope that you find some peace over the next few weeks. 

Friday was a rough way start the weekend and I want to start by saying that I am glad it ended up being a hoax (more on that later). I know each person on campus (and off campus for that matter) had a different experience and I want to take a quick moment to appreciate the bravery faced by those that were outside or in academic buildings when the notice went around. It required extreme mental toughness to remain as calm as possible and make sure that you were staying safe. To everyone that had to do that, I salute you. I also want to thank the first responders that quickly took action to control the situation, as this helped the whole campus community feel more protected during this time. 

 On Friday evening, I had just finished getting dinner in Bostwick and was on my way back to my dorm room after walking my friends to theirs. It was once they got inside that I started hearing the sirens of the two township cop cars getting closer. I had gotten to the point where I could just barely see 7th street and I turned around and saw the police cars flying up the road towards campus. They were quickly joined by a P-Safe car. To be honest, I didn’t think too much about it and just focused on getting back to my room in Harris. Lo and behold, I received the P-Safe notification just as I got inside. I put the pieces together and quickly locked the door. I shut our open shade and equipped myself with a 4-foot-long metal pipe that I had for a project. I then relaxed on the couch in our room with my pipe until the all clear was issued and then just chilled in my room for the rest of the night.

Unfortunately, this was not my first experience with this. Back when I was in high school, a bomb threat was called into the district office of my school, causing both my school and a neighboring one to be evacuated. As per usual with these types of situations, the information was hard to come by at first and nobody was really sharing much in order to keep the students calm. At the time, we didn’t really know much, so it was assumed to be an active shooter threat. I do remember, however, getting a call from my dad and him advising me that if I heard anything happen, “Run and get to the woods.” I was on the cross country team, so I knew a trail  that could get me home in 30 minutes if I ran. But still, my dad telling me this, at 15 years old, still sits with me. Nothing ended up happening, as it ended up being a hoax about a bomb planted inside one of the locker rooms. However, the fact that this happens more often than we want is serious. 

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Reflecting on the recent scare our campus has experienced, it’s troubling to acknowledge the frequency of these incidents. This raises important questions: why do they happen and what drives individuals to resort to such extreme measures? A common assumption is that these individuals are struggling with mental health issues. While it’s understandable that some may feel unheard and are struggling mentally, resorting to frightening tactics is not the answer. This event shook campus in its entirety. However, we must recognize the complex motivations behind such actions to address the root causes. 

Thankfully, there’s a growing availability of resources to support individuals in processing their emotions and seeking help. While my personal experiences have thankfully turned out to be hoaxes, they speak to the prevalence of this issue. Overall, this is not the answer to managing feelings of anger or frustration. The detrimental impact such actions have on students cannot be overlooked. It’s crucial to consider the extreme effect these incidents have on people as well as the trauma it imposes. We need to strive for positive, non-threatening ways to address grievances.

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