Triggered Day 2: Lockdown Chronicles

Students Utilize Social Media to Stay in the Loop During School Threat

Noah Torr and Jessica Mick

Deana Trautz, Reporter

Lockdown drills are practiced once per semester in LISD, providing its students with an understanding of the precautions that should be taken when there is a threat to the school.

When it’s not a drill, lockdowns can last from 10 minutes to several hours. Huddling in a corner with classmates during this time can cause anxiety, especially when no information is given to students or teachers as to what’s going on.

Junior Abby Teicher says that after a certain point in a lockdown, the class starts to worry.

“It’s not until about 15 minutes that it might be super serious,” Teicher said. “But otherwise, I feel generally relaxed during lockdowns, you know, because I have been in so many since freshman year.”

Being a technologically savvy generation, kids today often use their phones as a way to deal with the lack of information during a lockdown.

“The first thing I go to is the cheer GroupMe,” senior cheerleader Sabrina Enriquez said. “It’s usually always going off during a lockdown with different stories and things like that.”

But apart from Enriquez’s group chats, her sources also include major social media networks, such as Twitter.

“I check Twitter to see all the people tweeting about what they think is going on,” Enriquez said. “Then, since the school usually emails the parents, I’ll then get a text from my mom telling me what’s actually going on.”

Finding information through unofficial accounts on Twitter may only lead to rumors, making it vital to search for reliable news sources. Sophomore Dylan Robinson says that he prioritizes news accounts over other students’ stories.

“When I go on Twitter, I try to find my information from official sources like the LISD page or different news pages,” Robinson said. “If I can’t find anything from these places, I usually just search up the high school and see what the latest tweets are involving the high school.”

Robinson says how he tries not to make the situation worse by spreading rumors.

“I try to take everything that doesn’t come from official pages with a grain of salt because I know that there are usually rumors going around,” Robinson said. “I don’t want to tell other people false information.”

Spreading rumors is quite common in these situations. Whether they speak of gunshots in one of the buildings or report to have seen a gun left somewhere in the school, these claims can confuse staff and authorities who are trying to rid the school of any threat. False information can also spread to the parents of students, resulting in the parents showing up at the school.

Teicher’s mother, McCall Teicher, says that many feelings hit her during lockdowns, but she says that it is the little pieces of information coming from the news or her daughter that keep her calm.

“I’m scared, I am worried, I’m praying that nothing bad is really going on,” McCall said. “I’m watching the news stations to see what they’re reporting, and I’m driving to the school. [My daughter] is my lifeline to what’s happening, I rely on [her] text messages.”

Since posting on social media can spread false information, assistant principal Vernon Rogers says that input from students is more helpful when reported through an appropriate channel. This could mean reporting to a teacher or sending an email to an AP.

“When we are just putting things out there, especially on social media, sometimes that causes more of a panic and more of an issue,” Rogers said. “We want our students to be sometimes our first eyes on the situation, we want them providing us with that information.”

Rogers says that it is vital that students encourage their peers to treat every lockdown drill as a serious situation, even if there is not a real threat present.

Take it serious when we practice,” Rogers said. “If you see others who are not taking it seriously, encourage them to take it serious. I know it gets a little hard sometimes because we just kind of go through it and we go through the motions, but it’s necessary. And if it wasn’t necessary, we wouldn’t do it.”  

Sticking to the major news outlets, as well as school and district-run accounts, is the only way to ensure correct information.

Here are the links to follow credible Twitter accounts.