When I first heard there was a bomb threat, I was waiting to receive a text message from Ferris’ text message emergency alert system.
I waited for it, and waited. Finally, at 12:12 p.m., the text message came through warning students of the threat. But wait, wasn’t the voicemail left around 8 a.m.? The fact that I received the text message more than four hours later concerns me.
Specific or non-specific, my personal opinion is that all buildings on Ferris’ campus should have been shut down while DPS and other law officials with specially trained dogs searched the premises.
Some might argue the call that came through was a hoax (which I’m certain it was) and that’s exactly what the person who made the call would have wanted: to have classes canceled and schedules disrupted for the day.
After the shooting incident at Columbine High School in 1999, some students began making bomb threat calls just to get out of school for the day. Although there was an incident at Virginia Tech again not too long ago, it doesn’t seem like calls have been pouring in with false bomb threats just to get a day off of school.
The truth of the matter is, a bomb threat, whether it’s a hoax or a true threat, should not be taken lightly. Student employees, staff and faculty who are not trained to be searching for bombs should have never been instructed to look for them in the first place. That is the job of professionals and bomb-sniffing dogs that are trained and skilled in that area.
We never know for sure if some psychopath actually planted a bomb somewhere or it was just some individual pissed off at the university and decided to act like an idiot by calling in a bomb threat.
A public safety policy letter on Homeland Security and Response for Ferris, published in 2004, indicates the Emergency Manager appointed by the president of the university is responsible for handling emergency situations on campus.
In the letter, it was stated that a plan for disaster and emergency situations is to be set in place. Well, for the bomb threat last week, I’m not too sure if there really is a plan put in place.
What if there had been an actual bomb? Surely, with the way the situation was handled, it would have been a terrifying scenario. I was nervous going to my classes on that Thursday, not knowing if something was actually going to happen. I can’t say I felt too safe.
We live in a world where there is a lot of uncertainty, chaos and individuals with agendas that are frightening and threatening to the public. Some might argue, “Well, Ferris is a safe school.” Yes, while Ferris may be safer than other schools, it does not mean a disaster can’t happen here.
Other students have said they are appalled by the way the situation was handled. I don’t blame them. I was appalled myself.
I am very grateful that nothing horrible happened. I called my parents to let them know about the threat, and my mom was disgusted with the way it was handled. I’m sure other parents were, too.
If a bomb threat ever happens again or a similar type of situation, please don’t take it lightly; take it seriously and take the right precautions. It’s common sense.