Lockdown False Alarm: New employee did the right thing


Screenshot, Patch News

A Patch News headline about the lockdown seems to blame the employee for acting with caution.

On Friday, March 10, 2023, during the first period of classes, Stamford High School initiated lockdown procedures due to a shooter threat. Similar to the previous lockdown that occurred back in October, panic and fear arose, as students and faculty were rushed into classrooms and instructed to lock all doors. Confusion and worry erupted among friends, families, and faculty in the form of text messages, emails, and social media posts.

During such situations, it is extremely difficult to distinguish fact from rumor. No one truly knows if they are safe. Students text their families and friends “I love you”, just in case anything happens. 

Thankfully, like the last one, the threat was a false alarm. A new employee spotted an armed man in the student parking lot and reported it. They did not know that he was a Stamford High School Resource Officer who was heading to work. How could they? He had not changed into his uniform yet. What they saw was an unfamiliar man with a gun strapped to his side, an obvious cause of concern.

Yet, in a recent Patch News article, the blame seems to be put on the alarmed employee. By “cleverly” titling the piece “False Alarm: Stamford HS On Lockdown After New Employee Jumps The Gun,” Patch News is doing more harm than good. Accusing the employee of “jumping the gun” is not only an inappropriate play on words, but it is also almost a form of public ridicule, as it makes the report out to be a foolish mistake. This could discourage staff and students from reporting suspicious activity, out of fear of public shame.

Employees are trained to report any possibility of an emergency. The new employee who reported the officer did exactly what they were supposed to do. Of course, we are all trying to avoid situations like this one, where chaos is induced over a non-existent threat. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry regarding such matters. Instead of mocking the employee for creating a false alarm, we should be thanking them for taking the safety of our school so seriously. Additionally, we should perhaps be re-examining uniform protocols for officers in our schools. It makes sense that all armed officers be required to be dressed in uniform when on school grounds to prevent any further misinterpretations. 

It is our hope that silly headlines do not intimidate the students and staff of Stamford High School, or of any school for that matter, from doing the right thing when in doubt. If you see something, say something. Always.