Should Schools Be More Transparent?

Logan Williams, Writer and editor

Roughly a few weeks ago on Monday Nov 15, 2021, an email was sent to some of the students that attend Lakeville South High School. The email was in regards to a non-credible threat on the student body. For the most part that is all the email said. It didn’t shed light on what type of threat it was, or how it could affect us students.

Things like this need to change. Just recently there was a school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, that as of the time of writing this, has left four students dead and many injured. According to USA TODAY, this would mark the 28th school shooting in 2021 alone. We can’t just be given half-baked emails when it comes to potential threats. Especially when the administration board could have, but chose not to tell us anything. With all that has been going on these past few years, schools need to be transparent now more than ever. 

    When I, Logan Williams, mention transparency I’m referring to the district being open and letting us, the students, know what’s going on. There may be some other connotations out there as well, but I’m referring to the one previously mentioned. I asked around the school to see what some of the student body had to say in regards to this issue. A senior at Lakeville South High School, Graham Smith, had this to say on the topic.  “It’s important that we at least know what the threat is. It could’ve been as small as a dog biting someone, or as bad as a shooting.” Another student, who wishes to stay anonymous, had this to say when asked if schools should be more transparent; “Yes because, knowing full non-disclosed details gives students the opportunity to make their own decisions for their personal safety.” 

    Obviously we aren’t able to know everything about what goes on behind the scenes, but, we should know everything that we can. I’m not saying we need to know who it was that threatened the school. I was recently able to interview the school’s resource officer (SRO), Officer Corey Maus, and I asked him what the legal restrictions were when it comes to threats directed towards schools. Here’s what he had to say: “It’s completely discretionary, up to the administration as to what they want to do with it. Normally they try not to tell you what threat it is, especially if it could potentially turn into a criminal element, especially regarding a student because then they can’t tell you anything since it would be a criminal investigation.” He later added, “If there’s an imminent threat, then they can tell you what’s happening. But if the threat is already handled or figured out then they don’t have to tell you anything.” 

    At the time when the email got sent out [7:58AM], the threat was deemed not credible and students were already in their first period classes. Since the threat ended up not being credible there is no reason why the school shouldn’t have made a more descriptive email or even a simple PA announcement in regards to the threat. Especially when the first line of the email addressed all “Lakeville South Parents, Students and Staff,” but it turns out that none of the teachers that I was able to conference with got the email, most parents received it, and only a handful of students actually got the email. Now obviously I understand that they were trying to minimize panic and not have people freak out or be scared, but when only certain people get an email that barely tells them anything, it’s only going to cause more panic. Personally, I believe that the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear that everyone shares. A senior at Lakeville South High School, Quentin Riehl said, “Things need to change, it’s our lives that are at risk”. And it’s not just students that are upset, one of the teachers mentioned that, “I Think that they need to be as transparent as they can be.” 

    At the end of the day, all school districts, not just my own, need to have slightly open borders and be much, much more transparent when it comes to threats targeted at a student body. It’s not just their lives that are at risk, it’s also their education. After these last two years being stuck in a pandemic, a proper place of education where students can feel safe shouldn’t be this hard to come by. 


Things need to change.