In March of 2022, St. Francis Preparatory High School was flooded with threatening posts on Twitter about threatening to blow up the school with a bomb. In addition, there was another Twitter post depicting the High School with a picture of a gun beside it. Threats to the high school were made again just recently when someone found what appeared to be a bomb hiding in somebody’s school locker. Police showed up at the school and the entire area was evacuated.
St. Francis Preparatory High School boasts itself as the “largest Preparatory school in the country with over 2500 students annually”. As such, Francis Lewis Blvd, the street where the high school is located, was closed off throughout the area. One of the students enrolled in this school is my lovely sister, Mary. I decided to ask her a few questions about the incident:
Me: “How did the school address the situation to begin with?”
Mary: “Well, when the posts appeared on Twitter, the principal Mr. McLaughlin put the school under a two-week lockdown and we had to work remotely. Upon returning to the school, we were required to bring clear backpacks into school so that security could check for weapons. Some students brought in garbage bags while others used small Ziploc Bags”
Me: Wow, that must’ve made an impact on the way the classes are taught. Did everything feel different when you returned to school?
Mary: “No, not really. The bags were still large enough to carry our books and pencils. Classes were taught as normal. It was funny seeing students with clear backpacks. Now security can see our tampon cases (laughs)”
Me: (laughs). “And this most recent incident happened during classes. Tell me what happened”.
Mary: Yeah, so I was in study hall and an alarm went off causing the school to evacuate. At first, we thought it was a fire drill, but then we noticed the faculty was making us walk 20 minutes away from the school. We were at least two blocks away from the school by the time we stopped. We then heard somebody call from a distance saying that they found a ‘suspicious item’ in one of the school lockers. Police showed up and searched the entire school for weapons”.
Me: What was your reaction to the situation? How did you guys pass the time?
Mary: “Everybody was posting the videos on TikTok. People put captions that read “The Great Migration” (laughs). Everybody was on their phones or talking with their friends. We were outside for almost two hours.
Me: And was there actually a bomb threat?
Mary: “No, there was no threat. The school didn’t go into the specifics of what happened, but classes resumed that day as normal. Ten minute class periods, they should’ve just let go home” (groans).
Me: “What do you think will happen in the future if the school is still threatened?”
Mary: “I think they should just make us work remotely. Obviously, the clear bags aren’t helping if the faculty still believes the school is being attacked. Or at the very least, classes should be hybrid. Truthfully, we don’t know what courses of action this school will take, but we hope it’s for the best”.
This was my interview with my sister Mary, a Sophomore at St. Francis Prep. There is much uncertainty lingering at her High School and the police department still assures us that “the investigation is ongoing but it will all be over soon”. Wishing my sister (and the school) all the best and safest.