Ridgewood High School’s Asianfest is an event filled with various cultures, events, and performances. It is a day of entertainment where students can experience the many aspects of different Asian cultures. This year, however, this exciting event was cut short due to a bomb threat. On April 1st, a bomb threat was directed towards Ridgewood High School and students were required to go into lock-down mode while Asianfest was canceled for the period. The bomb threat never developed past a threat but many questions emerged from this occurrence: Why were bomb threats so common in America? Are there solutions to these threats? Is school really safe?
While there are many differing opinions on the safety of the school, the general consensus is that Ridgewood High School is a safe place. Kieran Burke, a sophomore at Ridgewood High School, believes that the high school is doing its best job to keep students safe. He states, “Initially when the bomb threat went off, I was in the campus center . . . it was celebration and excitement at first; bomb threat came in and then it was sadness, it was animosity and [yet], everyone came together as a community and worked towards our safety”. He believes that the administration was working towards the safety of the students to the best of their abilities but some students disagree with this sentiment. Elias Barrales, a junior at Ridgewood High School, reasons that the High School did a poor job of answering the bomb threat by “making [us] all stay in the campus center where the bomb probably would be . . . I would have been safer at home than in the campus center waiting for two hours”. This view on the threat raises the issue of how schools should limit casualties if an explosion does occur. By having students cluster up in classrooms there could be a higher number of deaths compared to if students were evacuated out of the building.
But why should high schoolers have to worry about this threat altogether? Is there a solution to this alarming issue that has become more and more popular across the country? Chris Fiol, a sophomore at Ridgewood High School believes that the answer to this question is the availability of explosives. He states, “I think that these bomb threats are so common in America because of the lack of security and regulations on people obtaining these bombs . . . [they] can make these threats because it is possible for people to get and use bombs without much hassle”. By limiting the availability of bombs, people will not be able to make bomb threats as easily. It takes a lot of credibility away from the people who make threats which reduces the number of explosive threats high schools face across the nation. Palmer Joseph, a sophomore at Ridgewood High School, poses a different solution to this problem. He believes that “[since] these bomb threats are almost untraceable, its something you can do on a daily basis and get away with it so there should be a system to track these people down and also a system to help people who want to cause harm to get treatment or therapy”. Being able to trace these phone calls could be an effective solution by reducing the amount of “prank” bomb threat calls because of how easy it would be to catch these perpetrators. Catching these offenders and having them go through therapy could also prevent future threats from the same people. There are many opinions on how to solve the issue of bomb threats and with threats becoming more common, new laws against these threats could be enforced soon.
Graphic: Tyler Minn