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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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'All clear' ends school lock down

With Fresno City police cars lining up to survey the Alluvial entrance onto school grounds, a voice suddenly came over the loudspeaker instructing everyone to get into their classrooms as fast as possible. Teachers locked all classroom doors and students waited anxiously for the “all-clear.”

Students in the halls ran back to their second period class while teachers told students to stay away from windows. Some classes were temporarily suspended, and others tried to go on with their lessons.

“I was in Bible at the time and Mr. (Robert) Foshee told us to stay in our seats,” Nick Carrera, ’05, said. “He tried to keep teaching us, but everyone kept talking and people were calling their parents even though the announcement had said not to. No one was listening to anything though, because we all wanted to find out what was going on.”

On March 19, two men were spotted loitering between Carrington Point and the border of the North side of Peoples Church. They were seen carrying what were thought to be handguns, but ended up just being large pipes. No one is sure of their intentions, but it gave the students and faculty quite a fright.

“Mrs. (Sharon) Scharf was really nervous and wouldn’t let anyone anywhere near the windows,” Bethany Morton, ’06, said. “She closed the blinds, and had all of us group onto the side of the classroom furthest away from the window. After class when we hear what had really happened, we felt really silly for being so dramatic, but I’m thankful that Mrs. Scharf kept us safe.”

Campus security saw the men, and perceived the situation suspicious enough to notify police, and ultimately produced a campus lockdown.

“I was in the library and the librarian, Mrs. Brown, locked the doors and told us that there was a man on campus with a gun,” Dawn Steele, ’03, said. “Mrs. Seibert told us that if we were to hear shots, we were supposed to go to the preschool area and lay down on the ground because the walls are very thin and the bullets may come through.”

With the war in Iraq imminent, many different stories were floating through the campus halls, and each version of the incident became more exaggerated.

“I heard that there were two guys with guns near our school, and that the elementary kids saw them and were freaking out,” Morgan Rigby, ’04, said. “Since our school is so small, and rumors get around fast, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was saying, ?did you hear? Two guys had guns and someone got shot!’ by the end of the day.”

However all rumors turned out to be without merit.

School lockdowns, such as what happened in this situation, are put into action because of several different reasons, according to the campus handbook.

The handbook states if an intruder is nearby or on campus, such as an escape from a nearby law facility or rehab center, or if law enforcement is conducting an action near the school, the school must lock down. The main reason for a lockdown on campus occurs when there is imminent danger such as gun use, explosives or anything threatening to the student body or faculty.

Tim Wilkins, superintendent, released a letter at the end of the day explaining what had happened, which gave some of the parents a feeling of contentment with our school’s security.

For more information about the school’s security policies, call the high school office at 297-9464, ext. 126. Copies of the letter are available in the high school office.

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