By MaKalie Farmer & Connor Mullins
The morning of January 16 was a whirlwind of activity for staff and students as three students broke out in a fight that resulted in the stabbing of two students. This incident caused a lot of backlash from the media; however, AHS principal Michael Garcia believes the situation was handled well by him and his staff.
“The individual that did the damage was apprehended in less than ten minutes and was immediately removed from the campus,” Garcia said. “By the time students got to class, the situation had been taken care of.”
Students panicked as word spread that a student had been stabbed on campus just before the first bell rang for class. Parents were notified via the electronic calling system almost immediately to let them know everything was okay. However, an announcement was never made to let the students know everything was okay.
“There’s a chain of commands that we go through,” Garcia said. “At the same time, we have to be careful what we communicate to students, versus the adults.”
Despite the rumors and false news stories, AHS was never on lockdown. Instead, teachers were told to hold students in classrooms and continue on with their lessons like usual. Students were safe, but this incident brought up several concerns about safety in the future.
“New campuses now are built with complete safety with only one or two entrances,” Garcia said. “This is a 1957 building. They didn’t have those kinds of concerns back then.”
There are about 12 entrances to the campus. Due to all these entrances, it is fairly easy to get on and off campus undetected.
“We don’t want to compound the situation,” Garcia said. “It’s one of those things where unless conflict pops up, you don’t know there’s a problem there”
The incident got unexpected coverage from national news sources like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and New York Daily. It also received coverage from local news stations like Big Country and KTXS.
“The injuries were serious, but not necessarily life threatening,” Garcia said. “If communication would’ve taken place, then certain things would have taken place to prevent this whole thing from happening.”
The two students who were injured were rushed to the hospital and were tended to immediately. Both students fully recovered and are back on campus.