Threats of school violence taking a toll on students

- Threats of violence on school campuses appear to be taking a mental toll on students. Some students at Cupertino High School said they now worry about their safety after two threats of violence in a month.

A video posted on Instagram captures students running for their lives at Cupertino High School. They were told to evacuate after the school received a threatening call on Tuesday. It’s a scare that keeps replaying in the minds of students.

“It was just fight or flight in that moment,” said Cupertino High School Senior Meesha Reiisieh. “I was just thinking should I hide if it’s an active shooter? Should I run off campus? I was just thinking I should tell my parents that I love them.”

It turns it was a robotic call. Similar calls were made to campuses throughout the country. While it turned out to be a hoax, it didn't help it was the second threat in a month. Their fears lingering especially after the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month.

“I always thought we lived in one of the safest areas in the nation and I never thought Cupertino would be one of those schools you see in the news,” said Reiisieh.

“I’m definitely scared for my life,” said Cupertino High School Senior Olivia Chong. “This morning, I actually woke up and thought do I really want to go to school today?”
It’s not just students who are shaken up but teachers.

“There’s fear for us,” said Cupertino High School Teacher Oliver Yeh. “There's fear for our students. I think there's a lot of frustration over the fact we haven't been able to come up with a better solution as an entire society and as a government.”

The school district said there's increased law enforcement on campus this week to provide comfort to students and staff. Additional school counselors are also on hand.

As for Reiiseh, she just got accepted into her dream school at American University. She's oow calling for safety precautionary measures including bag checks at graduation.

All of them said a solution is complex but believe education and awareness, for now, is key.
“If we have education in schools about not abusing drugs, we should probably have that same education structure with weapons,” said Reiisieh.

Reiisieh said the school threats should not be the new normal. Her intention in sharing her concerns is to keep the conversation going about school and gun safety.
 

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