At 11:27am on December 5th, Lancers received a worrying message during lunch: they were to return to their 5th period classes because the school was on lockdown.
Little information was given at first, which led to confusion and rumors spreading through classes. Only weeks after the mass shooting at Borderline on Thousand Oaks Boulevard, many students feared the worst.
“It makes you think ‘What’s going on?’ And wonder what was happening. I wanted answers,” sophomore Reagan Coger said. “My first thought was ‘Am I safe here?’”
During a probation search on Teasdale Street, a man threatened police with a bat and barricaded himself in his home. A SWAT team was called to resolve the problem, and TOHS was placed on ‘soft lockdown,’ where they kept students indoors and accounted for without locking the doors or turning off the lights like they would in a full lockdown. TOHS was never in danger, but the police wanted to keep everyone safe because the threat was so close to the high school.
Students were told to return to their sixth period classes during lunch, and waited out the lockdown until they were permitted to go back outside for lunch. After lunch, everyone could return to their sixth period classes. However, the schedule had to be changed, shortening sixth and seventh period and lengthening the school day by ten minutes.
However, whether they had class or not, anyone still at school at the time the lockdown was announced was not permitted to leave. Because of this, many students without six or seventh periods were stranded on campus until it was safe to go home. Sophomore Elsa Heath was one of those students.
“I felt really uncomfortable because I couldn’t go to my car and was stuck in a class I didn’t want to be in,” Heath said.
No one was allowed to leave until 1:11pm, when the lockdown was finally called off.
It was another strange day for Thousand Oaks, but in the end, no one was harmed.
“Dr. Bergmann reassured us that we would be safe and were not in immediate danger,” Heath said. “It was frustrating, but I’m glad the school has such a high priority for the kids’ safety.”
Video and Photo Courtesy of Kat Koeler