Editorial: Bomb threat or not, It’s no laughing matter.


Lynbrook students play games, read and cartwheel, oblivious to the roaring fire blazing behind them. Graphic illustration by Anushka Anand and Lilly Wu.

Epic Staff

On the morning of April 11, Lynbrook faculty identified a potential bomb threat that resulted in the cancellation of the rest of the school day and forced numerous students to leave their belongings in locked classrooms. Despite being unaware of the full scope of the situation, students and staff exhibited exemplary behavior in following emergency protocols and evacuating in an orderly and timely fashion. In the future, students should continue to stay alert and avoid becoming desensitized by emergency drills. While Lynbrook is in an area where such emergency situations rarely occur, being prepared and knowing how to react swiftly and calmly can make all the difference in the event of an actual emergency.

Residing in a community that is relatively peaceful and safe, it is somewhat understandable for students to feel that the vast majority of the crimes, tragedies and destructive weather events broadcasted on the evening news, exist only on television.

“Sometimes, these threats and drills are hard to be taken seriously at times because nothing really crazy happens at Lynbrook,” junior Nimalan Elanchelvan said. 

Even with a lack of understanding of a situation, it is essential for students to become more familiar with and continue to approach emergency protocols in a serious manner to prepare for an actual emergency. Although repeated drills can often become tedious and disruptive to academics, students should continue to take them seriously and follow them to the best of their ability, as these drills serve as vital tools in preparing students for real emergency situations.

“You need the drills, but at the same time, doing the drills can desensitize you to the seriousness when you actually have a real situation,” computer science teacher Brad Fulk said. “If you can’t identify the difference, which even the staff had a hard time distinguishing, since it was the fourth alarm in a month, none of us knew that it was anything other than ‘business as usual’ when the drill started.”

Despite the potential for students and staff to become desensitized, the drills’ repetitive and consistent nature has also been able to establish a standard for students’ conduct during an emergency and played an important role in maintaining the organized behavior of students and staff in response to the bomb threat.

“Lynbrook students and staff are very thoughtful and responsive to instructions,” Assistant Principal Tara Grande said. “The fact that we conduct drills regularly makes the students more comfortable with the evacuation process, and they know where to go and what to do in such situations.”

While the behavior of students during emergency drills and especially the bomb threat, has been commendable, orderly and disciplined, some chose to cope with the boredom of the drill by socializing with friends or playing games on the field. However, there is a time and place for students to express humor or have fun with their friends; emergencies or drills can be a complicated place to do so. While waiting for extended periods during lengthy drills with no clear and present danger or no indication from the faculty to the contrary, some degree of playfulness is expected, but students should remain vigilant and prepared to respond appropriately to potential emergencies.

“I think it’s okay if people are having fun and messing around because it is just a way to pass the time,” sophomore Mahati Ramakrishnan said. “But if we get an update that shows the severity of the situation, people shouldn’t be running around, and faculty should know where all the students are.”

As outlined in the California Education Code, schools are required to conduct several different types of emergency drills throughout the year to prepare students and staff for emergency situations. High schools are required to conduct at least one fire drill per semester, whereas earthquake drills only have to be administered once in an academic year.  The only drill not required to be conducted during the school year is Run, Hide, Defend. School administration was unable to conduct such a drill this year, but is planning to hold one next year.

 “A lot of the drills are mandated by the education code and required by the state,” Grande said. “Then, the planning and execution of safety measures are done school by school based on what works best for each school. The safety committee assists in planning, and the administrative team is heavily involved in the process.”

While it is easy to become complacent in a community that seems immune to emergencies, it is crucial for students to remain prepared and vigilant, and to continue to take emergency drills seriously. By doing so, they can help ensure the safety of themselves and those around them in the event of an emergency.

“We always strive to improve our safety drills, and I appreciate the cooperation and feedback we receive from our students and staff,” Grande said. “We have a safety committee, and any students interested in joining can contact me to participate in planning and provide a student perspective on safety measures.”


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