The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

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Poor communication causes tension

Recent saftey concerns highlight the need for administration decisions to be more public
The+response+to+the+threat+was+problematic+is+because+it+violated+students%E2%80%99+and+staff%E2%80%99s+right+to+show+up+to+school+feeling+safe.+This+includes+the+right+to+know+if+any+activity+might+hinder+their+security.
Asher Hagan
The response to the threat was problematic is because it violated students’ and staff’s right to show up to school feeling safe. This includes the right to know if any activity might hinder their security.

When students arrived on campus on August 18, the first Friday of a new school year, they expected to be greeted by eagerly waiting friends and to plow through the eight long hours standing in the way of their well-deserved weekend. Instead, students were met with a distressing scene, as police cars and motorcycles lined entrances and left students feeling uneasy and kept in the dark.

A day previous, the Bowie administration was notified of a threat made by a student. While actions were taken to contain the threat, students and parents were not notified until 9:20 a.m. on Friday. This meant that students arrived at school while police officers were still in the process of addressing the situation.

In this instance, the Bowie administration failed to provide timely and transparent communication regarding the threat at hand which demonstrated a lack of consideration for the safety of the Bowie community. Because of this response, the well-being and best interests of the students and faculty did not seem to be a top priority of the administration.

One reason this response was problematic is because it violated students’ and staff’s right to show up to school feeling safe. This includes the right to know if any activity might hinder their security. Because the community was not notified when their safety was jeopardized, they were also denied the right to make an individual decision of what would be the best measures to take for their unique situation.

Additionally, the miscommunication surrounding this threat could created an environment of mistrust toward the Bowie administration. It’s imperative that this community, more specifically high school students, are able to trust their administrators so they feel comfortable alerting someone should they need assistance with a difficult situation. If students feel like their inquiries won’t be taken seriously or communicated with the community if necessary, they may be less likely to reach out if they need help or overhear information that requires attention.

Finally, parents received no notification of the incident while it was being addressed. This meant that they may have only learned about the threat itself once their kids had already been dropped off at school and had no idea of the status or specificities of the situation. This decision was unfair to parents who had little or no information about the security of their children.

While some people may believe that this response was well-executed and necessary to ensure the safety of students and staff, it’s not viable to say the actions fully considered the well-being and safety of this community. The lack of communication and the absence of crucial information being passed between the Bowie administration and this community display the lapse in judgment that caused officials to not take students and staff completely into account.

A better solution would have been to notify parents of the situation before sending their kids to school. Responding to the threat this way would have allowed families to make a decision that was right for them, individually. This decision-making process is imperative in a circumstance like this one when families, all in different positions, are posed with such a serious choice.

It is important that legislative change is made at the state level that restricts access to guns so that threats such as these become increasingly less prevalent. Until those advancements happen, however, change is necessary on a campus level to ensure the safety of our community, including better communication on the end of administrators, not just with parents, but also with students so that they feel like a priority. This should also involve increased access to resources that can provide help for students who may be struggling.

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that it has become common for children to go to school worried about how the threat of gun violence may impact them.

In order to create a more secure Bowie community, there need to be more actions taken by this campus as a whole to recognize that taking safety seriously can’t be done without better communication that truly prioritizes the best interests of all those involved.

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