Two Years, Two Bomb Threats at Mira Costa High School

Two Years, Two Bomb Threats at Mira Costa High School

Twitter User @oluchi_uba

Jessica Zhou, Staff Writer

Mira Costa High School was evacuated Monday, December 7th after the main office secretary received a call at 8:10 am from an anonymous person, who stated twice that a bomb was placed in a classroom.

This triggered a school-wide evacuation, the second time since the threat on Yik Yak in November 2014 that classes were cancelled for a day because of anonymous threats. Mira Costa’s student-run newspaper, La Vista, reported that a call was made to all Costa parents at approximately 8:40 informing them of the threat.

La Vista, Mira Costa’s student run newspaper, live tweeted the throughout the day. Additionally, the student body posted in the hashtag, “#thisiscosta,” with varying reactions of sarcasm, impatience, and exasperation.

 

 

The Daily Breeze expressed surprise when it covered last year’s bomb threat on Yik Yak, noting that after a day of cancelled classes, “the back-to-school process was somewhat surreal, considering Mira Costa is one of the top schools in the state and located in one of the most affluent cities in the area.”

Students at West High expressed concern for their own school, noting the proximity of Mira Costa (3 miles), realizing that such an event could very well occur in Torrance as well. “Torrance is a nice and calm city. I would like to hope we are prepared, but I think we aren’t,” said Sebastian Bonilla (10). “We haven’t experienced anything like that, so we don’t know how to react,” he said, believing that schools should adapt to evolving threats. “I don’t think we should be scared, I but I do believe we need to be more cautious and aware of our surroundings,” explained Timothy Tran (10).

Shila Bui (12), a MCHS student who was present for both bomb threats, can attest to the need for more updated emergency procedures. She says students were simply told to leave the building and leave behind their personal belongings, such as phones and car keys, in class, until they were allowed back in to retrieve items after 3pm. “They placed us all on the softball field and set us all there until the situation was handled.” Photos by the La Vista staff show waves of students exiting campus, as well as gathering and waiting on the softball field and tennis courts after evacuation.

Her concerns also reflect a desire greater need for transparency and communication between administration, faculty, and student body. Although parents were informed through emails, students weren’t told about what was going on. “Last year’s event was more of an annoyance but today I think it was a mixed feeling because we were all so confused. I had absolutely no clue what was going on. I thought it was just a drill,” she explained. “I feel as if the school board should take that day off to really make sure our school is safe and figure out an actual plan on what to do with the student body if this were to repeat.”

As reported by La Vista, Dr. Michael Matthews, Manhattan Beach Unified School District superintendent, informed MBUSD families via email that after a four hour search from 10:30AM to 2:30PM, there were no suspicious items found by the “nine canine units and over 80 law enforcement and emergency personnel” of the Manhattan Beach Police Department and Manhattan Beach Fire Department and other local agencies.