There were three reported gun incidents in one day last month at SFUSD high schools, and today, some students staged a walkout over what they see as the district’s slow-footed response.
It probably should have made more news this past December 8 when, as the Chronicle noted at the time, three separate SFUSD students reportedly brought guns to San Francisco high schools, in incidents that happened at two separate schools. But it is making more news today. Since neither high school instituted a lockdown, nor issued any official statements until hours afterward, some students are miffed enough that they threatened a Friday school walkout, according to the Chronicle.
Washington High School student Audrey Parker, who was in class at Washington High when the December 8 incident occurred, said the lack of official communication led to rumor-mongering, which she tells the Chronicle “kind of set people off and made it a stressful situation.”
“It is really in my lifetime that this has been something to think about, something to worry about,” Parker added. “A lot of the policies haven’t really caught up. Districts and schools need to get with the times… to keep students safe in modern times and the current situation.”
The Washington High incident was set off, in the words of Superintendent Matt Wayne, when staff “received the report that a student was in possession of marijuana and the Dean conducted a search.” That search turned up two students with weapons, one with a BB gun, and the other with both a BB gun and a firearm. These were confiscated by staff, which Wane says “neutralized” the situation, hence no lockdown or immediate announcement.
The other incident was at Galileo High, where there were reports that a student had a firearm, but that student left campus once confronted. Police showed up on campus, but the presence of a gun was “never substantiated” according to Wayne, who added that “as a result of the swift and appropriate actions taken during the incidents, the threat of escalated danger was diffused and we were able to minimize disruption to the school day.”
These explanations may satisfy some, but students and parents are not pleased that some classrooms lack working public address speakers that would notify students and staff of these issues, and that 10% of classrooms do not have so-called “Columbine locks” that can lock a classroom from the inside.
We should note that some degree of walkout did happen Friday afternoon, though it was reportedly not that large (and the rain may have played a role in that). In a 2:15 p.m. update to their original article, the Chronicle noted that “A few dozen students, parents and teachers participated in the afternoon protest, which included a march from City Hall to the district’s central office.”
Image: Wendy N. via Yelp