On Dec 2nd, several threats insinuating a school shooting were circulating across social media. This led students to choose not to come to school due to safety concerns.
Later that same evening, Principal Tom Harmas came out with a safety notice acknowledging the situation. He denounced the threat after working with the Carmel Police Department to gather more clarity. Harmas also ensured additional precaution will take place the following day at school with increased police presence.
CHS admin has shown a continued effort in getting out any news regarding school safety in a quick manner. In order to establish quick responses, CHS incorporated the STOPIT app for students to report any suspicious activity.
Students are also always given the chance to speak to school counselors and psychologists. When threats circulate, the school reminds students of the resources that are available. The HiLite staff commends CHS admin for its quick responses and for having available resources such as mental health services and the STOPit app.
All things considered, there are still improvements that could be done to create a better response amid school shooting threats. Trust between the administration, the student body, and the families of CHS students needs to be built. The importance of maintaining transparency and consistency with the student body increases when threats are going around.
This can include messages during investigations even when there is not a clear understanding of the situation. This can help students and their families feel included and at more peace with the situation. It’s crucial for the admin to shut down any rumors as quickly as possible so no further speculations form. As further speculations form, more worries tend to grow across the board.
At the same time many other schools in other states were also getting similar school shooting threats. Some schools decided to fully close down for a day or even longer to prevent a possible school shooting. This does seem to promise more safety for the students and staff and reduces any risk.
All in all, there are many ways to respond to school shooting threats. Some ways can seem extreme and unnecessary but, the safety of the students and staff at CHS should always be the priority. The HiLite staff, as members of the student body, commend the CHS admin for having a clear procedure for dealing with situations like these and for always having student services available. As a staff we do believe there can be more transparency between the administration and the student body in the future and more trust needs to be built.