Column: Fighting fear

LA schools made wrong decision in face of terror threat


AP Photo/Richard Vogel

Police officers turn arriving parents and students away from Edward Roybal High School in Los Angeles. All schools in the vast Los Angeles Unified School District, were ordered closed Tuesday due to an terrorism threat .

Julia Vastano, Editor-in-Chief

My favorite book when I was just 2 or 3 was “National Geographic’s Pocket Guide to Sea Life.” I have always loved to watch documentaries and the news, and always wanted learn as much as I could about anything. I have always treasured education and school above anything else.

I’ve never been a fan of weekends and I miss school on the days when it gets cancelled. I know not everybody can relate to this, but I also know that at this school, most appreciate the value of education.

Something I have understood all my life is that knowledge is power.

Tuesday morning as I walked into school I got a CNN alert on my phone that over 900 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District were shut down, taking about 650,000 students out of school in response to a terrorist threat. My first reaction was fear for my own safety as a student, and terror for those that attend LAUSD schools. This feeling of anxiety however, was soon overcome by an astounding feeling of anger.

Students were being robbed of a chance to learn, to tap into that power source.

Put simply, fear denied more than half a million students their education. And that is exactly the response a terrorist would wish to receive. Responding in this overly-cautious manner shows terrorists the great fear we as a country feel. By extension, this threat proved how easily Americans will succumb to terror tactics, relinquishing our knowledge, power and further, our freedom.

Many could challenge my argument that the LAUSD schools should not have been closed down by asking why should we risk the lives of innocent children to overcome our fear of terrorism. I completely understand this point of view and would not wish my own children to be in that situation. However, enough is enough. Some sort of example needs to be set to show that we are not afraid. Perception is reality my friends.

Maybe the LAUSD school closing was a product of our own doing. Maybe, if we as a people had set the precedent that we were not fearful of of acts terror every day, then the threats would have already been stopped.
So I challenge the reader this: don’t be scared. Don’t be scared to go to a concert, to a movie, to work or to school. When you fear doing these simple things, you are restricting your own freedom because of fear and letting the enemy win.