Trespasser Causes Lockdown


Ava Paulsen, Editor in Chief

On Thursday, January 20th during fourth period, a lockdown was announced over the speakers for Castaic High School students at approximately 11:25am. The administration sent a message to teachers through CrisisGo with instructions to shelter in place and hide in the classroom. Another message was sent concerning a male trespasser on campus reporting he was blonde, about 18 years, and wearing a sweatshirt. The lockdown was lifted 20 minutes later and a school announcement said the emergency condition was cleared and students were able to return to their normal activities.

“One person is being detained pending further investigation,” said Deputy Natalie Arriaga, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, reports The Signal on January 20th. 

“We had a trespasser at Castaic HS that was detained by law enforcement,” said a text message sent out to the parents minutes after the lockdown was lifted. “The school was on lockdown as a precaution, but has been lifted. All are safe.”

Following this text, Castaic High School Administration sent out an email to the community at 1:25pm to follow up with more details about the lockdown. 

“The moment administration was informed of the trespass a full lockdown was initiated while the school’s resource officer immediately began a search. Within ten minutes the individual was located and detained.” 

The email went on to remind families that all students are encouraged to report anything they see or hear that makes them uncomfortable to the administration as the school investigates every report made, so make sure to have Castaic’s Tip line in your phone: [email protected].

One concern brought up by students is that iCAN Academy teachers are not provided with keys to their classrooms. During this lockdown, these teachers were not able to lock the door and since the doors open from the outside, barricading the door was not a viable option either.

A student in iCAN emailed the administration concerning the issue and received a reply that the administration is working on resolving it. 

Students are knowledgeable about how to secure a classroom and keep themselves safe in a lockdown as regular drills occur throughout the school year. Even during hybrid-learning, lockdown drills occurred for students in-person as well as those online. 

“My period 4 students did not panic, followed protocols to the last detail, and made my job as easy as possible during the lockdown,” said Mr. Turski who was teaching his Honors Pre-Calculus students when the lockdown occured. “I could not be more proud of them and their composure.” 

Teachers are also aware of the stress lockdowns have on everyone. Mr. Kennedy, a Castaic High School physics teacher, played funny dog videos for his students following the lockdown. One of the videos was a humorous day in the life during quarantine as a corgi. 

“I really appreciate Mr. Kennedy acknowledging that it was a stressful time and helping us de-stress,” said Mia Souther, a junior and student in Mr. Kennedy’s fourth period physics class. 

More than 4.1 million students endured at least one lockdown in the 2017-2018 school year, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. Threats related to firearms accounted for 61 percent of lockdowns. Different threats including bombs covered 15 percent and police manhunts also accounted for a similar amount.

Lockdowns can be traumatic and cause stress and anxiety around school. Castaic’s Zen Den is located in room 212 and open for all students Monday through Friday every week. The Zen Den is a place for students to relax and take a break from the stress of school. It offers a multitude of mental health resources including one-on-one therapy sessions with a licensed professional.