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Surviving a Lock Down

My personal experience during the lock down at Burlingame High School on Friday, Feb. 10.

It was 1:20 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. It was sixth period, study hall, and I was looking forward to relaxing for the next 51 minutes. I signed into the library and sat down in one of the chairs, waiting for my friends to arrive. The bell rang; it was officially sixth period.

Less than a minute later, an announcement came on the intercom. It was our principal. He said the school was undergoing a code blue, that they were beginning a lock down, and this was not a drill. Everyone should get to the nearest classroom immediately. Students began pouring into the library for protection. The librarians began closing the blinds, locking the doors, making sure everything was secure. I didn't think this would last for more than five minutes, but I was glad thing were being taken seriously.

It was now 1:35. I called my mom to tell her about the lock down, but I thought nothing of it. I told her I was in the library, and that everything would be fine; I was sure they'd lift the lock down in a matter of minutes. After I hung up, my friends and I began playing cards.

Time started slowing down. It was 1:45, now 2:00, and we still hadn't heard anything from the administration. I felt like I had been in the library for hours.

The rumors had already started.

"There's a student with a gun and a bomb in the C-building."

"They're in a classroom."

"They're holding student hostages."

I didn't know what to believe, but as the time started passing, I became more and more nervous. I thought it would last 20 minutes, but it had been almost an hour. My mom told me the school called the house saying the school was under a lockdown and not to come anywhere near campus.

At about 2:10, the principal came back on the intercom, and we were to evacuate to the football field. This seemed unreal.

Students poured onto the field, and the waiting game continued. A while later, the administration said they were declaring a mandatory evacuation of campus. Parents began lining up outside the football field entrance to pick up their kids. There was 1,200 students trying to be signed out one-by-one through two gates. The lines seemed never-ending, and I didn't know how much longer it would be until I could leave. The staff was doing its best to maintain order in the unruly crowd.

After about 30 minutes, I was through the gates. Police had blocked off the street in front of school to passing cars, and no one was allowed back on school grounds. Unfortunately, my car was parked on campus. I was told to wait 45 minutes. When I came back later that afternoon, it seemed as if nothing had even happened.

The whole event seemed like a blur. I heard about these situations on the news, but I never thought it would happen in Burlingame. The administration and Burlingame police have released information stating that the school received a threatening email. Although I am still unsure of  exactly what happened during those two hours, the events of that day are ones I will never forget.

(Editor's note: According to the Burlingame Police Department, BHS administrators received a threatening e-mail from a student claiming he had a gun and bomb. The student in question was isolated and searched during the lock down and evacuation. No threatening objects were found on the student or in the school. The student was cooperative and the event is under investigation to determine whether the threat was serious, a hoax, or a case of mistaken identity. No arrests were made.)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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