The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



More terrifying than ghosts and ghouls: SLOHS being unprepared for an evacuation in all classrooms


Evacuation procedures lead SLOHS students to Holt Field. Photo courtesy of senior Alma Tinoco.

  San Luis Obispo High School and surrounding San Luis Obispo areas experienced a fright on October 30, as a vegetation fire broke out on the hill behind campus and caused students and staff to evacuate shortly after the beginning of fifth period. 

  After so many instances of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in fire alarm form, was SLOHS ready for a real fire? Not really.

  “We didn’t hear any alarms or warnings until Avery came into our room and told us there was a fire, then we saw all the smoke,” said freshman Ethan Hibble. 

  SLOHS’ older buildings are prone to miss important announcements as classes are in motion and do not hear the loudspeakers properly. A similar issue occurred during the last school year, as the campus entered a lockdown and the ceramics classroom was not notified of instructions as swiftly as it should have. I say this from my experience in both of these classes at the times of sudden emergency. 

  “I never went to class, I stayed outside,” said freshman Makaylin Molinar.

  Students deserve to know the information of potentially dangerous situations to avoid confusion and gather their belongings in case of a need to flee. Lack of information prompted some SLOHS students to leave their belongings believing they would return to their classes after the evacuation. 

  While an announcement from SLOHS Principal Rollin Dickinson via StudentSquare and ParentSquare letting students know they could pick up their items this morning before school is helpful, it would have been best to give students a general idea of the situation so the school could avoid the situation of multiple students leaving their property on campus in the first place. 

  “They definitely could have communicated with us better, but then again it was very hectic. I know quite a few people who left their stuff on campus. We all kind of thought it wasn’t a big deal until we saw how close it was and how fast it was initially spreading– it got very bad and very real, very fast,” said junior Jenna Cross.

  Standard fire procedures at SLOHS seem effective and are carried out properly during false alarms, however the response to an actual threat was disordered and ill-prepared– even with the acknowledgement that SLOHS staff did the best they could to ensure everyone was safe.

Cueing students to leave campus after an erratic transition onto Holt field only left students confused on where to go and what to do about the possessions they may have left on campus.     

  Leaving campus equally put students at risk, as everyone rushed to leave the parking lot and pedestrians dodged through the roads to leave as soon as possible, not including the road closures that were in effect and the inability for some students to be picked up as needed.  

  Take this as a learning experience to ensure the safety and security of future Tigers.


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Alma Tinoco, Feature Editor

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