San Leandro High Students Not Surprised by Gun Discoveries

On-campus reporter finds that students think the problem much more common than has been realized. School and police officials will hold a public forum tonight at 7 at the High School Arts Education Center.

The recent discoveries of guns both on and off the San Leandro High School campus have caused differing reactions among the student body.

One a week ago Friday and two more were last week.

But the recurring themes seemed to be that there was nothing surprising about the events and that none of the students questioned seemed outwardly worried or stressed.

“I wasn't shocked,” said junior Omar Cisneros. “I'm used to the idea that there are bad kids here.”

Bianca Hererra, a sophomore, and Lydia Calderon, a senior, both said they weren't surprised at all.

Several students seemed to think the problem is much more common than school officials believe.

Kayla Ely, a senior and member of the wrestling team, said casually, “Around here people bring guns to school pretty often.”(See Kayla Ely's .)

Calderon agreed, saying, “I think it happens with people [who] want to flash it around and show it off. There's a lot of negative attention.”

Students had differing opinions on how well the administration dealt with the circumstances.

Hererra thought that school officials responded in the best way they could. She believed that the school is well prepared for situations like this, and that their actions last week demonstrated this.

“Living in San Leandro, you see that type of thing all the time,” she explained.

But Razada Cain, president of the San Leandro Academy for Multimedia, disagreed. The fact that a student was found with a gun on campus without the school being put on lockdown or otherwise affected by it concerned her.

Cain said she felt somewhat unsafe “because of how the school dealt with it.”

Ophelia Morreale, a senior and cheerleader, also voiced concern about how the administration chose to inform students and parents.

Morreale said she first heard about the incident when her parents  got a phone call about the situation sent out by the school's automated system. When her parents questioned her about it, she had been unable to explain further because it was her first time hearing of it as well.

Ely's story was similar. She said with visible irritation that she'd heard about the incident “from a piece of paper three days after it happened.”

Given the nature of the events, the topic of safety is obviously a concern. The fact that three similar incidents occurred at or near the school within a week of one another obviously heightens this concern.

San Leandro students seem to feel worried, but relatively okay for the time being.

“It's not enough to make me not want to go back to school,” Ely said.

Cisneros did admit feeling less safe but not only because of these three incidents.

“Now that kids from Oakland are coming here and some of Oakland is really bad, I feel less safe,” he explained, correlating this to the recent events.

Cisneros also felt uninformed.

The question remains whether think the administration's future actions can ease their anxieties and prevent this from happening again.

While students have not been given specific details from any official sources, rumors about police dogs and increased security personnel presence in the future have been going around.

Ely doesn't think this will help. “Constant security will make students nervous,” she said. She thinks the emphasis should be on prevention and suggested seminars on guns and safety.

“You can stop students from bringing a gun to school, but I'm more worried about why they need to have them at all,” Ely said.

Brenda September 20, 2011 at 08:56 PM
Does anyone know the outcome of this meeting? Did they come to some kind of solution or agreement?
Alexa Velarde September 21, 2011 at 03:51 AM
It almost seemed like the meeting was more to get information from all sources (cops, teachers, students, parents, the community) We all said what we felt needed to be said, there were many people that expressed their response to some of the options that had been mentioned earlier such as metal detectors and sniff dogs. It was helpful to hear "why we shouldn't install metal detectors or use the dogs" in a way more civilized and respectful manner. I do see why we shouldn't have them now. Other alternatives did arise such as giving teachers more authority for discipline, opening up a text hotline for kids to text with tips of anything out of the ordinary that they may see (in a very discrete and anonymous way), also a phone hotline, allowing parents to volunteer during lunch and dismissal on what the kids call dead spot (places where the cameras do not reach). Kids requested more security guards, parents and teachers requested more strict disciplinary actions. One kid requested that once a kid is expelled, for the child not to be allowed to return to the school after a 1 yr waiting period. That's all I remember...lol I skipped school to attend ;)
Brenda September 21, 2011 at 09:57 PM
Thank you for the update Alexa. I think opening up a text hotline and parents volunteering sound like great ideas. I just hope the district will follow through on something and not just let this matter go, like they've done so many times before.
Paul September 23, 2011 at 07:12 PM
So let me get this straight Marga you are saying that having unvaccinated kids or hids driving is no more danderous than a kid having a gun at school and let's not forget pot as well? I doubt this kid has a permit for it and it was loaded. As far a gun safety classes who does not know that guns are dangerous? Anyone bringing a gun to school should be expelled end of story. Why should we have the police solve this problem. The school district should hire security to deal with this I want our police out on the streets where they belong not dealing with something the inept school disrict should be doing.
Marga Lacabe September 23, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Paul, all I'm telling you is what the data says. The chances of any teen being killed or injured in a teen-driving automobile accident are exponentially grater than his chances of being killed/injured by a gun at school, even when there are multiple guns at schools on any single day. So, while I don't want to see guns at school - or elsewhere - I see this as being a much smaller problem than that of teens driving, getting into other types of accidents, getting killed outside campus or killing themselves. If we care about teens, that's where our efforts should go into. Now, if you want to say "who cares about data?", that's OK. But then, if learning about facts and how to process facts is not important to you, why bother sending your kids to school to begin with? As for your other comments, they are rather silly. If you cannot keep weapons out of prisons or airplanes, what hope do you think there is keeping them out of classrooms?


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