Kennedy forced into lockdown

A confrontation between staff and parents caused a lockdown during 4th period on October 28. The question of whether or not there were weapons involved caused misconceptions among students.                 

According to the Kennedy administration there were no weapons involved, and no arrests were made throughout the conflict as stated by the Sacramento City Unified School District, according to coverage from the Sacramento Bee. 

According to a letter was sent out by the school to parents:

“These adults were belligerent, threatening staff with physical harm and refusing to comply with repeated directions. At one point, several forced their way past administrators in an effort to gain access to the main campus. Their intentions were unknown.”  

According to school principal David Van Natten, the decision to lock down the school and call the authorities was given by Assistant Principal Jacki Glasper.

Glasper recounted that the parents were not called to the school campus.  At the time, the school was completing an investigation into two fights that had just happened during Lunch A. 

Glasper said the parents “were very upset about something that happened involving their kids. We could not get them to leave campus, and given that lunch was about to happen [and more students would soon enter the quad], we decided to lock the school down.”

According to Glasper, the parents were not in conflict with one another and had no weapons. Offering parents the opportunity to be inside and speak their concerns can usually solve the conflict, but ”in this particular situation it did not go that way…so I did call the police because our first concern is always students’ safety, and I wanted to get them off campus.” 

Different classes reacted to the lockdown in various ways. Some classes complied with protocol while others had a difficult time following suit, especially when students took shelter in a classroom that was not theirs. 

Kennedy History teacher Todd Whalen had a mixed reaction to the lockdown. As he was going through the lockdown protocol, Whalen saw students leaving campus, even as the school was under an active lockdown. This was not only confusing but concerning for some teachers. When the lockdown started, there was a feeling of fear that eventually turned to impatience in many classes as the situation persisted. Though there was communication between the administration and the teachers via email during the lockdown, the information was limited and for the most part unreliable while students offered  teachers with unsubstantiated  information they saw on the internet. This led teachers like Mr. Whalen to wonder “Why am I learning more from kids than from the administration?” 

Erin Reed, a counselor new to Kennedy this year, was talking with a student as the parents arrived on campus. However, as the situation persisted, “some adults were in the office that were extremely upset, [and] students as well, and just a lot of anger that I was very aware of, so I kept my distance.” 

During the dispute she put students in her room to keep them safe. Shortly after the alarm went off,they followed lockdown protocol. 

Overall there were a broad range of reactions to this incident including fear for being on a campus where people are hurt to exasperation at losing an hour of class time to a minor incident at the front of the school. There are consequences for those involved, although not all of these repercussions have been decided. Van Natten said,“Everybody [involved in the fights] receives a consequence ,and depending on the particular circumstances, [they] may be removed from the school.” Although little information is available on the decisions being made, the matter has been referred to the district office after the lockdown.

Infographic by Lily Rusk, Clarion Co-Editor-in-Chief

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