Email threat. Schools closed. Finals coming! Petition drive? Nice try
Mike Szymanski | December 18, 2015
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A Van Nuys High School student mounted a petition drive to avoid taking finals this week after an emailed threat of violence closed down all LA Unified schools.
It didn’t work.
Final exams went on, as they did at all other schools. Still, the organizer got more than 1,300 students to sign it over the past two days.
“Greg,” who couldn’t be reached for comment, started the petition saying, the week “was meant to be final examination week here at Van Nuys High School, and at other LAUSD schools. On Tuesday, a threat was sent to the administration of the Los Angeles Unified School District of a caliber unseen before, prompting the closing of all schools in the district on that day. The students of Van Nuys were thoroughly shocked, finding that the scheduling for their examinations will have to be changed. All exams were pushed a day forward, which conflicts with the vacation plans of many students who have bought tickets for various venues months ahead of this week.”
“This petition is a way to voice the concerns of students and parents alike, saying that there should be NO final examinations for Van Nuys High School this school week. The trauma caused from these threats and the resulting actions taken by students will cause extreme stress in the days following, creating scores that are not likely to be representative of a student’s full capabilities.”
The petition was directed at school principal Yolanda Gardea, and for some unexplained reason, California Senator Barbara Boxer.
Some of the comments for explaining why students shouldn’t have to take exams bordered on the unbelievably selfish. Some students complained they had other plans, some wanted to go on vacation early. Other students talked about auditions they wanted to attend, schools they wanted to visit and shopping they needed to do. Others said they simply didn’t want to take finals.
And others expressed fear, proper grammar notwithstanding. Veronica Gomez said, “I don’t feel comfortable enough going back to school knowing just a day before our lives the nation students lives were in great danger and you expect us to go back like nothing happen (sic) and be fine with the fact we were almost killed at 14-18 years old wow okay great that’s just great.”
And Harman Singh said, “I am heated. These domestic terrorists are depriving me of a full day of education. I will not stand for disenfranchisement like this!”
Dove Renet, added, “Students will not be able to concentrate on their finals due to the fear of a terrorist attack. Just because it didn’t happen today doesn’t mean it won’t happen Thursday, or Friday.”
Parent James A. Harris Jr. said, “Our 3 children will not be taking the finals tomorrow, anyway. They have been traumatized by this whole ordeal. We want them to be safe, & in 1 piece. How will they even be able to sleep comfortably in their warm, cozy beds without imagining the sheer terror of being killed while taking their finals?”
And some signers showed by how they signed that maybe they should be spending more time in school, than on the Internet.
Said one, “I’m a little scared to go to school after this camotion.” (sic)