‘Prank’ phone calls lead to panic

Since the infamous Columbine shooting, over 215,000 children have experienced gun violence at school. This is the current state of our nation, not a joke, and we are treating it as the latter.

One week into the school year, Bristol Elementary parents were notified someone had threatened their children over the phone. On Sept.  21, Givens, Steger, Hixson and the High School were put on a full lock down after someone had placed a false phone call claiming a student had been shot in a Hixson bathroom. Both of these amounted to nothing but created fear among students, parents and teachers.

Parents wait outside New Britain High School Thursday following rumors of a threat, spread through social media, that ultimately resulted in a two-hour lockdown. Police and school administrators determined there was no danger, however. © 2018, Hartford Courant. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. Photo by Don Stacom/Hartford Courant/TNS

A prank phone call might include asking if someone’s refrigerator is running. It might include asking if someone named Seymour Butts is around on the other side of line. A prank phone call doesn’t include a terroristic threat.

With any horrible phenomenon, a group of people will choose to use it as some form of entertainment for themselves. These people are disgusting and sadistic. Regardless of their specific intent, they are inciting terror within an innocent group of people and that makes them terrorists.

Principal, Dr. Matthew Irvin said, “School’s are certainly intended to provide educational opportunities for students, and when there are substantial disruptions to that work, it’s very concerning to myself and our administrative team about how to do go about that work in light of potential criminal acts.”  

These phone calls lead to absolute panic: teachers and students calling loved ones, butting heads and gearing to jump out of windows. In every district, there will be children at schools with anxiety disorders. It is unfair for these children, as well as everyone in the school community, to be thrown into fear in an environment that is supposed to feel safe. It’s impossible to focus on learning when there’s a throbbing paranoia in the back of one’s head that one’s is in danger.

About the effect of lock downs, Hank Geers, senior, said,  “Lock downs put me on edge, though a lot of it is overblown. I feel desensitized to it at this point.”

There needs to be a harsh crack down on those who are making prank calls, they turn these gruesome events into a big joke. It is time for the students, to be heard.

Colin Shue – Graphics Editor

This is junior Colin Shue’s first year on the ECHO team. His sophomore year he wrote a few stories as a contributing writer. Today, he works as a graphics editor as well as creates and manages his own weekly blog.

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