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Unexpected lockdown leaves Bruins alarmed

Operations Manager Paul Mont-Elon was the one to report gunshots on October 19th. Photo by Bella Ferrari.

A recent lockdown at Bear River had Bruins reflecting on the possibility of a future violent situation on campus.

On Friday, October 19th, Bear River High School was put on lockdown. The school was in lockdown for about 20 minutes, due to the fact that Operations Manager Paul Mont-Eton, heard gunshots from behind the school.

Mr. Mont-Eton shared what he experienced.

“I was working behind the band and choir room [when] I heard a series of shots,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what it was … After the 3rd set, I called Mr. Kinseth on my phone, [to] not freak out the staff. He then proceeded to call the sheriff and inform them of what was happening. We then proceeded into lockdown procedure.”

According to Interim Principal Bruce Kinseth, investigation revealed that these gunshots were simply the result of entirely legal target practice by a nearby neighbor. However, Bruins said that while they were without this knowledge, it was an intimidating experience.  

“We didn’t really know what to do, we weren’t sure if it was real or not,” said Senior Pippyn Carney. “I thought it was fake, Mr. Nakano was telling us to get down, we didn’t put anything in front of the door.”

“At first we looked at each other super confused, like, ‘what’s happening,’” said Sophomore Connor McGehee. “Then, Mr. Paasch told us to get to the back wall and get down.”

Others were confused as well.

“We all thought it was a drill,” said Freshman Sarah Holden. “We didn’t hear gunshots and we didn’t let our imaginations get the best of us.”

Some Bruins believe that the school is unprepared for future lockdowns.

“No, I don’t think we are [prepared]; we only practiced in one period, I think we should have a whole day practicing the lockdowns,” said Senior Alyssa Harroun. “… We won’t know what to do, and, if there is a sub, the sub won’t know what to do.”

Other students disagreed.

“The police got here pretty fast, and we have a sheriff on campus,” said Holden. “I think that they are pretty qualified people to apprehend whoever comes here.”

Carney shared her experience during the lockdown.

“People kept joking around, and it was really nerve-racking,” she said. “I didn’t feel safe at all.”

Other students also expressed whether or not they felt safe.

“For the most part, I felt pretty safe in the sense that we knew what we were doing,” said McGehee. “It was just the fact that nobody knew what was going on.”

Another student agreed.

“I felt a little scared, but that’s natural in that kind of a situation,” said Senior Ashley Darr. “There was this one person in my class who broke down crying.”

Students shared their thoughts during the lockdown.

“I was planning my attack route from where I was,” said Darr. “There is a chair right here, and, at this angle, I could maybe hit them if they come through the door.”

Another student got emotional.

“I was emotional because it was my dad’s birthday,” said Harroun. “If something happened, then I wouldn’t get to see him that day.”

Another student shared Harroun’s fear.

“When Jack, the maintenance guy, came to let us out, I saw his shadow and thought, ‘this is it,’” said Carney. “I was scared out of my mind.”

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Unexpected lockdown leaves Bruins alarmed