Southern’s big scare: The viewpoint of an insider

Commentary by Emily Fogleman and Zoe King
Times-News correspondents

   Parents were desperately trying to reach their kids at Southern Alamance High School on Oct. 16 when they caught word of a possible threat to their children’s safety.
A social media app that has been rising in popularity at our school, Yik Yak, is an anonymous site originally intended for college students. Lately, students have been posting rumors and derogatory remarks about fellow classmates.
Supposedly, a “Yak” was posted that someone planned to “Shoot up the school at 2:15,” leaving administrators no choice but to take action to protect the students. Assistant principals came around to every class telling teachers to lock their doors and not to let students leave the class. We had no idea what was going on, as the teachers were as unaware as we were. The presence of police officers incited panic in us because we weren’t used to seeing more than our Student Resource Officer or the police for an occasional drug search.
During dismissal, we were wary of the people around us. Afterschool practices were either cancelled or cut short due to the apparent threat. The walk down into the parking lot had a sense of possible impending doom. We didn’t know what we might see. We could have seen our friends get hurt or be hurt ourselves. Anything could happen.
The next day, rumors circulated about the incident covering topics such as how many people were involved, who did it, and if the threat was meant to be taken seriously or not. Since the event, some of us are trying harder to be more aware of the things going on at school and starting to plan for something like this if it were to happen in the future. The whole student body has finally realized that what they post on social media can have terrible effects.
At the end of the day, we learned not to take for granted what we have — things like a safe school, our family and our lives.

 Emily Fogleman and Zoe King are juniors at Southern Alamance High School and are Teens & Twenties writers.

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