Bomb Threat Evacuation at High School Sends Shockwaves Through OC

Bomb Threat Evacuation at High School Sends Shockwaves Through OC

On Wednesday, January 24th, 2023, an anonymous male voice called the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), a charter high school in Santa Ana, notifying the staff that there was a bomb inside the school. Amidst a fire drill, students were instructed to stay outside and an order for evacuation was put into place. OCSA students stood outside of the school for two hours, waiting for the school to be cleared by K-9 teams.

Gigi Kim, a visual arts and journalism student at OCSA recounts when the school was cleared, “It was around 4:20 PM when my teacher said they were doing a final sweep at the tower basement and then we could go inside. But around 4, they were already letting you go if you confirmed you had a ride and you were okay with leaving your belongings behind.”

The students barely knew what was going on because there was a lack of communication during the evacuation which caused the uncertainty and unrest within.

“Our parents got text messages from administrators, but we only got emails 20 minutes after parents started calling their own kids,” stated OCSA Instrumental Music student, Alyssa Snow.

Kate Shin, another instrumental music student states further, “My mom laughed when I told her because she thought this was all a drill.”

Aside from parents, staff were also unsure about the events within the school.

“I wasn’t really worried about anything because it wasn’t an admin member or a teacher confirming the bomb threat, I just heard it from other people. It looked like the staff didn’t know much either, a lot of the teachers were standing with us, waiting in the parking lot as well,” adds Kim.

The lack of knowledge among students, families, and staff at the school is a concern yet not one just at OCSA. Last year, an Instagram post was made consisting of a weapon threatening multiple high schools throughout Orange County to “not come to school on Monday.” A student from one of the threatened schools who chose to remain anonymous recalls the lack of communication from their school’s administration as well,

“I sent an email on Friday night asking if it was safe to go on Monday, I got a reply Tuesday afternoon. The only other communication we got about the threat was the initial email they sent us notifying us that a threat was reported.”

Fortunately, no bombs were found inside of the OCSA campus and students were able to return home safely. However, the OCSA bomb threats are another reminder that the risk of school violence in schools across the United States is at an all-time high, and Orange County is no exception to that fact. Communication between administration, staff, and students can be unstable at times, causing more unrest and uncertainty within an already scary event. Unfortunately, these events can happen everywhere and all schools and individuals should be aware and prepared in the case of emergency.

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Miwako Miki
Miwako Miki, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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    Clinton A little | Feb 5, 2024 at 4:58 pm

    Obviously, to most level headed people, the very minute Bomb Squad cleared the facility, the protocol is to send global text and emails to all parents and student of current status..not difficult to do! These Administrators need to get their act together! Families do not need added stress.