CHARACTER BY NINA ELKADI AND CHRISTINA DAI
A recent threat made to West caused the entire school to evacuate. Custodians and food staff continued their job to make sure everything else around the district conitinued smoothly.
serious,” Shoultz said. “Crisis reveals character. We had a minicrisis, and it revealed that the character of our students is very high.”
THE EVENT Tuesday, Jan. 19 began as any day back from a break — with groggy and tired students. However, just minutes into second period, Principal Gregg Shoultz made an announcement directing everyone to bring themselves and their coats to the main gym. According to the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD), a bomb threat was called into 911 around 8:40 a.m. later found to be by a man robbing a bank across town. After the main gym was cleared for any explosives, students were directed there and then onto school buses. “We were lucky with the buses,” Shoultz said. “They had bus drivers and buses driving around, and they were empty because they just dropped people off; which turned out to be pretty good turnaround.” The threat raised questions about
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school safety and why no drills for situations have occurred this school year. “We don’t have a set curriculum for ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) training for students yet, [but] we are working on it,” Shoultz said. “The training can be upsetting to people. It was upsetting to some adults who went through it.” Amid the confusion, there was miscommunication on whether or not students were to leave their bags at school or take them home. Shoultz said that in the future he would prefer that students keep their personal belongings with them when they exit the building. This miscommunication lead to an accumulation of backpacks that the administration had to hand out to students as they came back. “We kind of sized them up. ‘Wait, you have a pink backpack?’” Shoultz said. The entire building, staff and students included, were praised for their calmness and attentiveness during the entire situation. “They [students] could tell I was
Amidst the bustle of Tuesday’s evacuation, many people’s only concern was getting on a bus and trying to understand what was happening. Not many, however, were thinking hours ahead - except, of course, the kitchen staff. As a production kitchen, our kitchen is responsible for supplying lunch to elementary schools Weber, Borlaug, Hills, Horn, Alexander and the Theodore Roosevelt Education Center. “Our typical timeline for Weber and Borlaug is that [the driver] leaves between 9:30 and 9:45 and then for the other four schools, our second driver should be out of this building by ten” said Julie Peterson, head of the West High kitchen. The emergency evacuation, however, put a bit of a wrinkle into their normal schedule. But with a little help from Northwest and City, all schools were able to be fed and very nearly right on time, at that. Alison Demory, head of Food Services for the whole district, was involved in the process throughout the day. Demory said that working together was the chief ingredient in making everything work. “City High was able to make the
DESIGN BY CLAIRE MURRAY AND WINGEL XUE