June 12, 2024
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June 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It Is Time for a Change

I am 17 years old. I go to The Frisch School in Paramus. On Tuesday, March 20, I sat in lockdown scared for the lives of my friends and family.

It was a normal day. I was in class watching my teacher show me some website we all had to use. Then the announcement came: “The Frisch School is now in lockdown.” We all got against the wall whispering together like nothing was really happening because, to us, nothing was. After a couple of minutes another announcement came. We were to stay in lockdown, there was an active shooter in another Jewish school. My classroom suddenly fell silent. I got curious so I started to search online for any information. My friends told me it was ridiculous; there was no way anything was online yet. They were right. So I texted my mom who works at a different Jewish day school, asking if she heard anything. I got no response. I started getting scared then since my mom always answered me. I have a sister in another Jewish day school and I wondered if she was the one in danger. After what felt like forever the announcement came that we were out of lockdown; it was a fake tip.

We found out later that a different school sent a text as part of their lockdown drill saying that there was a shooting in a different school. A teacher in their school called mine thinking that the text was real, and that was why we went into lockdown.

It was only after I got the news that it was a fake tip that I started to shake inside. It was only then that I saw people around me crying and hugging each other. It was only then that I realized something like this could actually happen to me and to those I love.

When I found out about the text, I was mad. Who would send out a text like that, scaring so many people, especially little children that they have in their schools? But then I realized: this was the only way that the school could think of to protect its students.

And after I realized that I got madder. Not at the school but at the world.

What have we come to that we have to scare children in order to keep them safe? What have we come to that we need lockdown drills every week? Why are we living in a world where we are afraid to go to school? Afraid that every time we say goodbye to someone it will be the last time we spoke?

Enough is enough. It is time for change. It is time that people do something to fix this problem. It is not far away. It is not something that won’t affect you. It is here. It is happening.

I’ve spoken out. I’ve walked out. I’ve marched. I’m trying to bring about change. I’m doing my part. Are you?

Kaylie Jacobs

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