How Students Perceive What Happened


Students attended the Nov. 15 School Board meeting to voice concerns.

The past several week’s events are not ones we wish to repeat. It leaves the question: How can we do better moving forward?

So far, the school has responded in various ways. Heightened security has been implemented and Mr. Williams has held grade assemblies to address what actually happened and to dispel rumors. 

This is where students were informed that there was no real threat of violence, despite the school being rushed to a lockdown on Friday, Nov. 12. This left some students feeling confused as to why a lockdown was called for in the first place. 

At the assembly, Mr. Williams said administration put the school into a lockdown in order to lessen students’ anxiety and worries about any possible threat. However, it made many students even more nervous, since they thought that going into a lockdown essentially confirmed the threat.

Sophomore Hope Jacobus said, “They didn’t tell us that there was no threat. When you go into lockdown, it’s scary and you start to think the worse — that you could die. I feel like instead of the lockdown, they could have announced something over the loudspeakers or sent out an email.”

The school Wi-Fi was shut off on Nov. 15, the Monday after students were sent home, leading many students to think that it was tied to the lockdown. However, according to Mr. Williams at a Chat and Chew meeting with selected juniors and seniors, turning off the Wi-Fi was unrelated to last week’s events. The point of turning off the Wi-Fi was reportedly to prevent students from connecting to outside VPNs and viewing school-prevented websites.

Junior Katie Trunk has spoken out against the Wi-Fi being turned off. 

She said, “We had to text our parents during the lockdown. If something were to happen again, we wouldn’t be able to text our parents. Also, it’s unfair for them to turn off the data. It doesn’t affect most kids, who can just turn on their data, but others are not as fortunate.”

Some students have been vocal about their experiences and opinions on ways we can improve as a school and community.

Senior Morgan Long and sophomore Hope Jacobus took to the School Board meeting on Nov. 15 to voice their opinions, as many concerned parents and students did–while none of the YouTube recordings of previous meetings break one thousand views, the Nov. 15 recording has garnered over two thousand views.

Morgan said, “At the school board meeting, I knew my feelings would be validated and that change could occur. I wanted to propose ideas and share with the school board a student’s perspective on what can be done to change the environment.”

Despite the newly implemented responses, last week’s events have left a lasting impression on the community. It has led many people to question the safety of the school. 

Katie said, “This brought the image of the school down, and people are thinking the school is not a good place to be educated and that it is not safe.”

Moving forward, there has been talk of doing more ‘community bonding’ activities and events, such as the pep rally on Wednesday, that will hopefully help our school regain a sense of community and ‘Hatter pride.’

Senior Sophia Liott said, “In my Scholar’s Leadership class, which consists of upperclassmen, we were having a discussion about our school and how the pep rally, year after year, has shown underclassmen what this school is all about. As upperclassmen now, we wanted the underclassmen to be exposed to HH’s school spirit by having all four grades be included in the pep rally on Wednesday. We met with Mr. Williams on November eighteenth about this, and he took our ideas to the superintendent and to the Health and Safety Board, who gave it the O.K. We hope that it will bring our school together and create a sense of community.”

Also speaking about unity, Morgan said, “I have hope that change will happen. If anything, the main problem is that the school is not united as a community. There is such a disconnect between the grades. This is contributed from COVID and not being in school, and the lower classmen not really knowing how the high school works. Being an upperclassman and a student leader, I want to get my voice out there and help to change the negative things that are happening.”

One of the changes that many students have suggested is improved communication from the school to students. Emails were sent to parents, but not to the students after the events.

According to Hope, “None of the students got emails, only the parents got emails. That’s not good for the students that are not on good terms with their parents. Also, the emails were pretty brief; they did not have a lot of detail. I feel like the students need to be kept in the loop and should be able to know what is going on at the school.”