School shootings are always a chaotic situation as students and faculty fear for their lives and with the mass amounts of school shootings that have happened in the last few months it is no surprise that these shootings are causing school students a bit of paranoia. But was it simple paranoia of a student at the University of Oklahoma or was the fear a legitimate reaction to the sound of gunshots? Police have yet to find evidence of any crime.
On the 22nd of this month, just one day after a school shooting occurred at Perdue University in Indiana, a student claimed to have heard gunshots fired at the campus of the University of Oklahoma. Around 11:20 a.m. school officials then mandated a lock-down of the campus. The official order told students to seek shelter in place and avoid Gould Hall, the architecture building, while the OU website stated that there was a shooting on campus.
Students who reported on the scene said that cops responded shortly arriving on motorcycles and immediately pulling out their guns. One student even said that one of the cops had a rifle rather than a regular police gun. Emergency response vehicles also arrived prepared to treat any victims of the crime. After all of the commotion, many students and faculty began to become paranoid about their safety and the safety of over 31,000 students that attend the University of Oklahoma, as students worried about a school shooting. According to an internet post made during the time that all of this was going on, students read that the school’s president, David Boren, was in the school during the time of the incident. The lock-down lasted for more than 30 minutes as police began to investigate.
Upon investigation police stated that there was no evidence found of a shooter or a crime and that they believed the campus was safe, although they continued to check the area to ensure safety. President Boren made statements following the investigation that made students aware of a machinery backfire in the area that could have caused the loud noise that students heard, leaving reports of a shooting to be a false alarm. No students or faculty were harmed from the malfunction of the machine and police stated that they did not believe a crime was committed.
Classes resumed regularly shortly after the police investigation, though Guild Hall remained close for further investigation. Students began back to their regular learning schedules, though some are still cautious as they continue on.
With no evidence found of a school shooting many school officials and commenters are slightly worried about students developing paranoia over the many incidents that have happened recently. If students cannot feel safe at school many educational facilities may start to see more commotion by parents. Security at many schools is already very strict including metal detectors at the doors, school security, backpack searches, doors that lock automatically, limitation to outside guests and more. Schools do not have much leeway in upping their security when they already have a system in place to prevent attacks like school shootings.
With the many shootings that have taken place just over the last year students, parents, and faculty have great reason to be concerned. Many politicians are also becoming concerned as they work to get gun control laws that they believe would prevent mass shootings. While this particular instance may have simply been a false alarm, it and other school shootings have left many wondering whether they are even safe when going to school.
By Crystal Boulware