A call for transparency

An open letter to BVH administration

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A call for transparency

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Dear Dr. Roman Del Rosario,

Being in the position I am in as a student journalist, I have a duty to the Bonita community. I’m here to inform with facts, stay truthful and maintain a professional and ethical attitude. Since day one, I was taught to stay persistent with my updates regarding certain topics or events. It is because of this background that I find the events on Sunday, March 7 particularly upsetting.

That Sunday I started my morning off like the usual, lounging about and embracing the sunny weather with a clear mind. I sat among my family while the sun shined through our screen doors and tried to not stress about the first day back from spring break. There was not a single worry in my mind.

This continued until the afternoon came about and I finally rested my thumb on my phone’s screen. A string of notifications bombarded my phone. I was extremely confused, but unbothered.

I then diverted to my social media and saw posts with the text: “Did you guys see these threats?” “What’s going on?!” “Don’t go to school tomorrow! Save yourself!” What was the hassle and lack of fret from everyone? For me, I thought these posts were just from those who had procrastinated their assignments to the night before school, but it was far from that. I was shocked. These posts all designated from two threats made against our school, by supposed school shooters.

I didn’t let my eyes stray away from my phone the rest of that day. Worried, I yearned for further information.

Only a single post was found on the official ASB’s Instagram, which read, “With Chula Vista Police they are able to confirm that this threat is unsubstantiated and school will continue as normal on Monday. We will have additional law enforcement on campus as a precaution. The safety and security of our students is a top priority and we thank you for your continued support.”

I questioned to myself afterwards; support? Wasn’t there any reference to the many complaints and concerns from parents, teachers or students? And why leave us off with “as normal.” Just as if it were any other Monday, right?

Myself and many others wanted more information and most importantly, continuous updates about this situation. The exact post’s message was then tweeted on the @BVHBarons account, but with an iMessage speech bubble. Being the teenager I am, I knew for a fact the message was a text, which has unprofessional etiquette written all over it. Everyone had to wait for the official statement from the Chula Vista Police Department the following day; the day that everyone was already absent from school. A tad bit late if you ask me, to keep the Baron community uninformed about the situation.

Attending school the next day was a dread for the student body. Teachers believed those who sat in their empty classrooms were ‘brave,’ excluding the teachers and students who stayed home and didn’t receive any follow ups to the situation that was still under investigation that day. We were only given a closing statement that claimed threats were “unsubstantiated,” even though investigation was still undergoing.

A message was made on the intercom during third period, restating the message sent out over social media. No new information was presented about the situation and questions were left unanswered. Why weren’t tools such as the BVTV broadcast utilized for sending out new info, rather than overwhelm the school nurse with countless students experiencing anxiety?

If there were continuous updates for the student body and parents about this situation, students wouldn’t have been terrified to step foot on campus. Transparency should be top priority at this school, because if we do truly care for the safety and security of our students here at BVH, nothing should ever be left unsaid.