“There is a possible suspect with a gun at PCC,” was the first line in the mass emergency alert text message sent to Long Beach City College students today.
While this message sent many students at the Pacific Coast Campus into high alert, the students, faculty, and staff at the Liberal Arts Campus continued their day with no interruptions.
“When I first received the alert, I was initially concerned, but because it was at PCC, I continued on with class. I am waiting for more info before I reach out to anybody,” said Donald Douglas, political science and history professor.
Dean of School Social Sciences and Arts, Lisa Orr, believed that LAC was a good distance away from PCC, so there was no need for students to do anything except to commence with their normal school schedule.
Once the mass text message was sent, many students were under the impression that they had all received the text at the exact same time, however, the first text was set out at around 10:30 a.m. and some of the last were sent out around 11:15 a.m.
Because of this many students learned about the incident through word-of-mouth and social media.
“When my friend first told me, I was shocked and sad that this kind of stuff is still going on. I am grateful that the school sent out a text, but it bothers me that he got his before mine,” said Sophia Glass, a nursing major.
Jose Meza, a chemistry major said, “I got notified because a student called to cancel our morning ASB meeting because he got the alerts. I got mine shortly after. I don’t think I got it too late, especially if it was just hearsay.”
Regardless if the incident is harmful, many students and faculty found it essential to now brush up on safety precautions.
“Things are different since I started teaching in 1999. The school is always trying to do more and more things to make its students safe. There are a variety of safety measures set in place. There are many safety precautions and mental health programs set in place to avoid situations like this,” said Orr.
“We don’t know when an active shooter will come on campus or who it will be. We also have to worry about copycat shooters, and LBCC works hard to make sure we handle each situation appropriately.”
The emergency alert text message did incorporate explicit instructions on what to do if you were at PCC during the time of the lockdown.
Douglas ensured that as a professor, if this were to happen at LAC, he would lock the classroom doors and shelter in place.
LBCC’s Student Health Services will be hosting a Healing Circle for those who wanted to share their thoughts on today’s incident.
The Healing Circle will be on Thursday, May 2, in the PCC Student Union, EE-102, from 11 a.m. to noon, it is open to all faculty, staff and students.