Steps to report a threat at school

Julia Kado '24, Staff Writer

Julia Kado ’24

Following the recent school shooting at Oxford High School, South’s administration, teachers, and students struggled with heightened anxiety over the proximity of the incident. South has received concerning threats, some even prompted the closing of school on Friday, Dec. 3. Throughout this, it is vital that our community becomes aware of how to report certain threats.

“One of the best ways to keep us safe is if you hear or see something, say something,” South Principal Moussa Hamka said. “One set of eyes only sees so much. 1,300 students with their sets of eyes see much more. We all have to have each others’ blindspots… I think we have an obligation to each other to speak up when we see something.”

Many students didn’t feel the impact of the shooting until repercussions started occurring at South. Some were even unaware of threats against the school until Cynthia Parravano, assistant principal, announced that they were being investigated over the PA system during 5th hour on Thursday, Dec. 2. Sophomore Brenna Goodman found that day very disorienting.

“It was kind of weird, students started leaving, which I think made it worse,” Goodman said. “it wasn’t scary, rather nerve-wracking, anxiousness.”

Joseph Spryszak, fellow assistant principal, explained that it depends on your environment. When at home, it is recommended that you immediately contact the local police via 9-1-1. He recommended texting OK2SAY if uncomfortable directly contacting the police. Students can reach OK2SAY at 6-5-2-7-2-9. Representatives from OK2SAY will then contact school officials and relay the information people gave anonymously.

“There’s a myriad of adults in this building, across the district, and in our local police department who are doing everything we can on a daily basis to keep everybody safe,” Hamka said.

If at school, the best way to report a potential threat is to contact a trusted adult, whether that be a teacher, administrator, or hall monitor.

“We hear their concerns, and I think many can relate, understand, empathize, and maybe even share in those same feelings,” Hamka said. ”We have to hold on to hope, we can’t live in fear, and let the fear paralyze us. We have to live courageously and take sensible, smart measures to do everything we can to mitigate those risks, but we’ll never eliminate them.”