Category Archives: Online

Online: Despite rumors, school is under no impending threat

By Kendra Schwartz and Ashley Hocking

Despite rumors, administrators have disclosed that there were allegedly threatening remarks made by a two students on Wed., Jan. 29.

Assistant principal Mike Norris revealed that although there have been roughly 12 police officers in the building at any given time today, the students who had made the remarks are no longer on campus.

“What has been reported is that some students alleged made some threatening remarks about the school that concerned some parents who were able to contact me early this morning,” Norris said. “At that point, we [administrators and law enforcement] basically just grabbed the kids and pulled them in an interview.”

Although Norris was notified by some parents, before second hour began on Jan. 30, rumors were already buzzing as to what the threats were. Some parents even went as far as to pull their student out of class.

“By the time we got these calls, the situation was dealt with,” Norris said. “By the time the rumor mill gets around, the problem’s already been dealt with. I assume we had kids texting parents and those sorts of things. By the time parents called, our secretarial staff was able to talk to the parents and communicate what it says in the press release and that everybody’s safe and that were no issues.”

Although there are no existing problems, rumors flew all the way to Free State High School this morning.

“When these sorts of this happen, we deal with the resolve,” Norris said. “There were a lot of concerned parents to the point that Free State has gotten calls from parents. ‘Do I need to get my kids out of school?’ There were other tweets going out that there were bomb threats and there were actually shootings at school. There were all these sorts of things. Whatever the concern was now had been contained.”

Other rumors circled, saying there had been a threat of a school shooting, but sources denied there were any weapons involved or even threatened. At this time, there is no clear evidence that serious threats were even made by the two students.

“Because we get a report that threats were made, it doesn’t mean that threats were actually made,” Norris said. “There is a very probable situation where there might not be any reprimanding because the kids didn’t actually do anything wrong.”

As a result of the ambiguity, the two students who were pulled out of class have yet to be reprimanded further.

“If there’s a consequence that needs to happen, it’ll happen,” Norris said. “But I’m not saying there’s necessarily a consequence that needs to happen.”

However, because the school’s security footage does not include audio, police cannot be sure what was said yesterday by these individuals. However, students have their own guesses as to what occurred.

“I posted on Facebook that two kids had threatened the school and I got a comment that said, ‘Those guys were removed hours ago, you should not even be worried about that,’” junior Clara Cobb said. “For everyone that’s at this school, they deserve to know what’s going on.”

Other students, like junior Jack Rischer, are less worried about an impending threat because administrators have confirmed the safety of the campus.

“Well, I heard a lot of theories,” Rischer said. “It could have been a bomb threat or a shooting, but we’re obviously still in school so there is nothing to worry about.”

Overall, although threats may have been made yesterday, today, Lawrence High remains just as safe as any other day.

“There was no impending threat,” Norris said. “No one had weapons, nothing of that nature; just some kids that made some remarks that were concerning.”


Online Cycle 3: School evacuated due to faulty fire alarm

By Kendra Schwartz and Ashley Hocking

An alarm sounded and students quickly filed outside Thursday morning. Many students expected this to just be another drill, but this was not the case.

Ten minutes later, students were herded into the stands of the football stadium. Confused, cold and groggy from second hour, students mindlessly followed their peers.

It wasn’t until the students were moved back inside that they received news of what had transpired.

Assistant Principal Mike Norris made an announcement (see video).

In the rush of the events, Norris misspoke. He called it a fire drill, not a fire alarm.

“I was trying to get the schedule out quickly to make adjustments,” Norris said. “It was not a drill.”

Administrators were not able to announce the root of the problem to the student body until they had come inside from the stadium.

“We had not fully determined what the cause of the alarm was at the time [when students were gathered outside],” Norris said. “So to give out an announcement at that point would have been premature. A lot of that announcement had to do with the lunch schedule, the logistics of how we’re going to finish the rest of the day, the lunch schedule and sixth period. We didn’t know that until we were able to get everybody back in because we didn’t know what time everybody was going to come back in. There just wasn’t any real information to go out yet.”

However, Norris and the other administrators were impressed with how the student body dealt with the chaos. Although a few students used this as an opportunity to get out of class, most students cooperated with faculty and staff well throughout the confusion.

“There will always be a small handful of students that will try to use this as some sort of excuse to sneak out to [Veteran’s] Park or something like that, trying to think that they can do it in the confusion,” Norris said. “That’s normal; that happens. There’s 1,500 kids in this building. Ninety-nine percent of them are going to do exactly what they should to get through the rest of the day because we’ve got a lot of good kids. The couple of knuckleheads that take advantage of it would take advantage of whatever. We’ll deal with those.”

Although students were unaware of the conditions inside the school building, they followed the directions of teachers, police and security guards.

“Once the fire department was coming, and we excavated the kids to the the football stadium, which is the next place we go after we clear the building, everybody went,” Norris said. “My understanding, from talking to teachers and staff members that were at the football stadium, is that the kids were great out there. Police and firefighters showed up. The police helped order the kids to the football stadium.”

The source of the alarm was actually a faulty fire detector in the auditorium. This detector, in turn, held the student body in the stands for roughly 35 minutes.

“The slowest thing, which still went smooth, was getting the electrician from the district here to pull the faulty detector down, so we could reset the alarms,” Norris said. “We had to make sure we removed that from the system and they would reset to make sure other things that would set alarms off too.”

Some students and staff, however, were confused by alarms that stopped ringing after a few minutes. A few of the teachers in the tech wing of the school even returned to their classes, assuming it was all clear.

“Once the building is clear, then we sometimes do turn the alarms off because we have people in here working trying to figure out what’s going on,” Norris said. “No one should have re-entered the building until they were specifically told students could re-enter the building.

“A reminder will go out to teachers that they do not re-enter the building until they are told to re-enter the building,” he said. “Absence of the alarm is not a reason to come back in. If you think about it, if there was a real fire, the panel that controls the whole system could have burned up.”

Although the policy is to not return to the school until the school is cleared, many teachers were concerned with missing vital class time.

“We have a lot of good teachers here,” Norris said. “I think they’ll figure it out. It’s one of those unfortunate incidents that affected [us]. Really only fourth period was relatively unscathed to remain the same length of time because of lunches, but we’ll just roll with it and we’ll figure it out. It might be that some of the lessons plans won’t get done until tomorrow, but we’ll figure it out.”

Although teachers stayed relatively informed throughout the day, many parents only received desperate calls or rash texts. Later in the day, the administrators planned on contacting parents and guardians.

“Parents don’t get notified until after the fact,” Norris said. “The procedure is that there’s an administrator in charge at the district level. That person is told first. That person makes the public announcement. We did have several parents call because obviously kids are texting. So, we had several parents call. The receptionist stays in here, unless she has to be evacuated. She gives reassuring responses, like ‘Everybody is evacuated safely. Everybody is fine. Once we know there isn’t a fire, we’ll have everybody back in.’”

Administrators predict most parents had already been notified by concerned students.

“We’ll probably have an email or a call go out,” Assistant Principal Mark Preut said. “Most students have probably already texted, called or contacted parents somehow to let them know what’s going on.”

If a message is sent out to parents by phone, it will not be individual calls but simply a “robo-call” from the district level.

In the event of a real fire, the procedure would be similar, but administrators predict that process would go just as smoothly as it did in this false fire.

“We’re really ecstatic about how great the kids were,” Norris said. “You guys did a great job out there at the football stadium. We really appreciate that. There were a whole lot more students out there than staff members. If you guys had decided to be unmanageable, you could have. But, you didn’t. You guys were great and we appreciate that.”

Online Cycle 5: Maroon 5 Review

By Ashley Hocking

18 years ago, a group of friends in high school formed a band. They called themselves Kara’s Flowers. Their name later evolved to become Maroon 5.

The five members of the band include: lead singer Adam Levine, drummer Ryan Dusick, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, lead guitarist James Valentine, and bass player Mickey Madden.

Three years after the band formed, Maroon 5 signed with Reprise records and dropped their first album, The Fourth World.

Shortly after, the band left the record label and went their separate ways to attend colleges across the nation and each focused on education.

After college, the group rebanded and signed with a new record label, Octone Records. They quickly released their next album, Songs About Jane.

The album’s lead single “Harder To Breathe” is what gave the band their big break in 2002. It became a chart topper and popular amongst radio stations.

By 2004, the band had two worldwide hits under their belt and won a Grammy for Best New Artist the following year.

Maroon 5 went on to tour extensively and drop three more albums: It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007), Hands All Over (2010), and Overexposed (2012).

On Feb. 27, Maroon 5 visited the Sprint Center in Kansas City as one of their stops on their Overexposed nationwide tour.

Despite selling out every seat in the house, the evening was tainted by a group picketers from the Westboro Baptist Church.

“My first instinct was to get mad, but I realized they’re such a small group,” Adam Levine, lead singer, said to the audience. “It’s such an ignorant thing that such a small group of people could be such pieces of s***.”

Despite this hindrance to the evening, fans enjoyed the jive atmosphere, psychedelic light show, and poppy music.