Guest Opinion: Bend High Situation
This letter is to shed light on the lack of acknowledgement and empathy by the school district regarding the potential severity of the incident on Feb. 9 at Bend High.
On Feb. 9 at Bend High we had what was labeled by the district as a "secure" event. For years we have practiced two scenarios in school. This is how I understand them. The first being a "secure." Second being a "lockdown." In a "secure" the threat is outside of the school, all of the outer doors are locked. We continue school as usual during a "secure." A "lockdown" is when the threat is potentially in the school. Outer doors, and classroom doors are locked, and we shelter in place.
On Feb. 9, at Bend High School I was sitting at lunch with my friends. We noticed something off. Our teachers were now in the commons (the lunch area) which was unusual. We were told not to leave the commons, and to stay where we were. It was announced over the school PA "We are now in a secure, please stay where you are." We asked the adults what was happening, and why we were all being told not to leave the commons. This was odd for a "secure" event. All they could tell us was that there was a threat made to Bend High, and they didn't know much more. Suddenly multiple officers came in through the front doors of the school armed with large rifles, some in full tactical gear. We began to panic, we watched them quickly disperse through the commons, then into the hallways. They didn't acknowledge us at the time (which was unsettling) but now I know that they were trying to secure the school as quickly as possible.
The adults who help keep us safe did not know what was going on, and we could see the panic on their faces. They were trying their best to keep everyone, including themselves calm. We noticed the growing number of armed officers along the entrance to our school. As we sat in the commons for over an hour, with no updates, we anticipated someone coming into the commons that could harm us. People were crying and scared. It got to the point where my friends and I were planning on where to run if something happened. We chose the nearest exit. We planned on running as fast as we could, and jumping the fence. Finally we heard our bell ring and the commons fell silent, "The school is now secure, you can now return to sixth period" we were released back to class as if nothing had happened. No further announcements were made. The only comfort and sympathy came from our teachers, and counselors who were also confused and uninformed. That night a letter was sent out from the district stating Bend High was one of several schools placed in a "secure." Based on the training I have done, the events that occurred at Bend High felt more like a "lockdown."
Without any empathy or communication coming from the district after this situation I feel as though what happened to those present didn't matter. They didn't address how this event affected students and faculty. This felt like a "lockdown," but was called a "secure." Perhaps the district was not completely aware of the situation, or it was simply mislabeled. The mislabeling of an event like this could worsen an already bad situation if it were real. I believe that we deserve an apology, acknowledgement and clarification from the district.
— Mai Perry, Junior at Bend Senior High School
Quote of the Day
Today I overheard this at Mountain Air Trampoline Park, toddler time. A father was giving his child a bit of instruction on using the space and toys. He said, "Everything is for everybody."
Food for thought as we deal with so many economic and societal issues today—hard adult issues, but we can learn from the lessons that mothers and fathers teach their little ones.
I will remember this fun time with my grandchild and these words from one daddy.
— Linda H. Spaet
RE: Chat Me Up Column, 3/23
ChatbotGPT is more of the same garbage we've been imbibing since Web 2.0 kicked off: algorithm-driven crud that responds to what it "thinks" we (apparently dumbassed) humans like or want... or just whatever we happen to respond to. It's looking for clicks, not soul.
Give it a try. ChatbotGPT is beyond tedious. Imagine that your whole life, and all your conversations, were like reading a generic, corporate About Us page. No one cares about that stuff. That's why the good companies and nonprofits hire real writers and agencies to do their websites and their About Us pages.
In some ways, this is a relief. ChatbotGPT is so sad and predictable, boring and irritating at the same time, it's not going to replace real people. Not yet, at least.
— Polly F.
Letter of the Week:
Polly, thanks for the reassuring comment. I like my job! You get letter of the week.
— Nicole Vulcan