On Monday, September 2, 2019 at 5:36 pm I received a safety alert that there was an active shooter at my school's campus in a freshman dorm. Though I was off-campus at my house with my roommates, I felt the immediate sense of fear and panic and dread. The feeling that I could do nothing but sit and wait and call and text and hope it was nothing.
Luckily for us, at 6:13, we received another alert that it was just that, a false alarm.
Though it was a false alarm, I can't help but imagine how those freshmen felt down on south campus. Many were probably hiding under tables in the dining hall or reportedly hiding in freezers in the convenience store. Some may have been in the shower or outside lounging on the grassy knoll. All of these students were brand new to this university and I'd assume all were scared for their lives. Here they are, beginning a new chapter in a foreign place. They're supposed to be meeting people, exploring campus, and trying out new clubs and activities. But rather, they were barricading doors and calling their moms to tell them they were alive. We locked all of our doors and we were nowhere near campus.
Once we got the all-clear, I found myself updating friends, family and loved ones. I called my boyfriend in tears because of the gravity of the situation. I had been on that part of campus earlier that day. We could have been the next school shooting. I am sad, angry, relieved, anxious.
But the worst part is, I have been scrolling through social media tonight and have seen multiple Snapchat stories or tweets in which students are making light of the matter. Looking at it as a form of comedy. I've seen people making fun of public safety.
What the hell gives you the right?
Shouldn't we feel lucky that they responded so fast?
That someone who felt a great deal of concern took action?
That it was a false alarm and no one was hurt?
We should be hugging each other extra tight, saying "I love you" and breathing a sigh of relief. But instead, some are laughing, mocking, and disrespecting the people that were ready to save us if it had been real. It could have been real. It probably will be at some point.
So many people have died in school shootings. Have some respect for them and their families. Have some respect for those that are now filled with anxiety about going back to class tomorrow, regardless of the fact that it was a false alarm.
Personally, I feel so lucky that it wasn't us.
So lucky that all of my friends are safe.
So sad that so many people I know had to hide under tables or behind locked doors for 30 minutes, not knowing if it would be their last.
So take a second and remember that. Take a second and reflect on who you are if you made any type of a joke on the matter. I am so extremely disappointed to be associated with a school that would react in that manner. Especially when it came from people I know well. It really makes you think about who you should associate yourself with.
Have some goddamn respect.