Secure and hold 2.0

Not only are we dealing with a never-ending pandemic, but someone here at LOHS decided to add the threat of a school shooting to our daily routine. We have experienced two “secure and holds” in the past month, which is unprecedented for students and teachers alike. Oddly enough, they happened during the same period, each right before an onslaught of difficult tests. I sincerely hope I’m reading too much into that connection, because the idea that someone would be willing to cause a uniquely terrifying experience all to avoid taking a high school test is ……. I can’t even find the word right now (horrifying? depressing? causing me to lose my faith in humanity? exhausting?). 

High school is about independence and growth, and repeated lockdowns show just how little a few students of LOHS understand that. There is no way that the administration is going to cancel finals because of a threatening note. That would be giving students way too much power. If you really wanted to bring about change, the best path for that would have been to lobby through ASB or the School Board. 

Look outside for one second – there are mass shootings nearly every week in the United States, and hundreds of people just like us, just our age, have died while at school. This affects everyone in education, adding a burden that should never have been ours in the first place. 

And yet here, most people no longer want to take our “secure and hold” threats seriously, and we’ve become the school that cried wolf. When the intercom sounded and the announcement came during second period, a collective groan rippled through classrooms as everyone thought, “not this again.” 

But even if we don’t want to admit (or even believe it), residual emotional distress remains. During the latest announcements, the same bell reminded us all of the traumatizing experiences we’ve endured. Past the jokes about surviving on granola bars and pulling out the big red bucket is the fear that our safe school environment has shattered. We can’t live in terror forever, so we try to compartmentalize and move on, but the memories are still there. Some students can’t escape the thoughts of falling victim to a school shooting, struggling to push through that perpetual anxiety to focus on school. No student or staff has the emotional bandwidth to add this worry to their already overflowing plate. 

While we might keep soldiering on, pretending or even believing that we weren’t affected, our mental health and faith in a safe environment at school faltered. And that is not easy to fix. This is not the environment that we deserve, so let’s work to build back better. Help each other be better Lakers.