By Albert Hu,
With school officials on edge in wake of the Parkland shooting, Davis High and Harper Junior High administrators were made aware of two separate shooting-related threats on Friday, March 2.
In a letter to DHS families, Interim Principal Tom McHale reported that campus supervisors found an empty ammunition belt in the Veterans Memorial parking lot while school was in session.
At Harper, school officials reported receiving a targeted and anonymous threat through the “StopIt” app that there would be a school shooting on Monday, March 5.
As a precautionary measure while Davis Police investigated, Harper administration initially announced school would be closed on March 5. However, late Sunday afternoon, in an update from Superintendent John Bowes, he announced school would be open–as the Davis Police Department were able to conclude the threat was a prank, identifying the source of threat: “a male student in his early teens.”
As of now, Davis High administration has not released any new information as to the culprit of the empty ammo belt.
According to Director of Student Support Services Laura Juanitas, the student behind the shooting threat could face suspension or expulsion, but was unable to comment on the potential consequence of an individual leaving an ammo belt in a school parking lot.
Moreover, in the wake of the ammo belt threat and a district-wide initiative to improve school safety, DHS’s “safety week”, a week of pre-planned safety drills, was postponed from the week of March 5 to the week of March 12.
According to DHS vice principal Amelia Hess, the postponement of safety week has given DHS administration time to implement a new fire drill designed to protect students from the Parkland shooting’s fire alarm scenario, accounting for a shooter being able to pull a fire alarm and shoot students as they leave their classrooms.
An information sheet about the new fire drill given to DHS teachers explains that the new fire drill will feature students sheltering in place as the alarm goes off, with teachers locking the doors–rather than students immediately leaving the classroom. Then, after the school administration identifies the source of the triggered fire alarm and checks the location of the alarm, they will provide an intercom announcement with instructions to either “continue to shelter in place, to evacuate, or that the situation is all clear.”
CORRECTION: According to Hess as of March 8, implementation of the new fire drill has been canceled by the Fire Department for not following proper safety protocol.