#DailyDons: Do You Feel Safe at School?

Daily Dons is a series where we talk with Santa Ana College students about their lives and experiences on and off-campus. My goal is to give students a platform to be heard. 

Last week, the campus was shut down on Monday after a man crashed his car into campus and was fatally shot. In response, we asked students: “Do you feel safe at school?”

Carlos Pachas, Freshman

 “Overall I just don’t feel safe in crowded spaces because of the whole mass shootings that have been going on right now. So whenever I’m in a closed room with a lot of people, I feel vulnerable. I need to scope out where the exits are and think what I would do in an emergency. But I think in this time and age, with the current events that are occurring, I don’t feel safe not only at school, but anywhere where there is a large amount of people. That makes me feel vulnerable. In the last five years when [shootings] started happening here in the United States, then the reoccurring events that keep happening. I keep seeing in the news the mass shootings in the schools that are just random, that aren’t even targeted. That can happen at any time of day. The [Shooting] at Walmart. I go there all the time, I go there three times a week to get simple things and just the fact that it happened there recently, it just kinda hits you that it can happen anywhere. Churches, the schools in Texas but I think overall the Walmart one got to me. It’s part of my weekly routine.”

Carissa Odasso, Freshman 

“I do feel safe at school partly because I myself do jiu-jitsu and I practice self-defense for a really long time so I feel safer than some other people generally. But I never experienced anything bad happening at my schools or anything like that so I don’t really feel a reason to feel unsafe. I actually pass it [the crime scene at SAC on Monday] on my drive home the night before and I was wondering what happened. It was pretty scary that it happened close to school but I never experienced anything like it. I stay alert of my surroundings. I kinda keep my head on a swivel and I easily notice the things that happen around me most of the time so I feel like with doing that it scares predators off. It makes me less of an easy target if I am paying attention and I’m not just walking with my headphones in.”  

Vikki Doa, Freshman 

“At Santa Ana College? Yes. I feel like everyone here wants to actually be here. Compared to high school and middle school, people don’t want to be there and that could be dangerous because they can take it out on others. Not just violence but also the things they say and that can create an unsafe environment. In Santa Ana, I haven’t felt that so far. But in high school there was this one kid everyone knew about. It’s kinda messed up but everyone said he would be the school shooter. So there was a point in time where he acted out and everyone felt unsafe. People stop showing up to classes and even going to school. I think that I skipped one day because he was really bad. That was one time that sticks out”

Danielle Pryor, Sophomore

 “No because I feel like in this day and age you never really know and honestly are we really prepared for something to happen?. So that’s why I don’t feel safe on Santa Ana campus. You don’t really see nobody around here like security. I see them in the parking giving tickets, but I don’t really see them stationed walking around and looking around the campus. [On Monday] I had read an article that someone was shot while driving and they had plumative into our parking lot. When I first read ‘Santa Ana College Shooting’, I thought there was a shooting on campus. Because that’s what you think. As I read it I figured it wasn’t a shooting on campus, it was a shooting in front of our campus. I was glad to know someone didn’t come on campus and you know. It was scary two years ago as a senior in high school. A lot of shootings were happening and I didn’t feel safe there during my senior year.

Andres Ramirez, Sophomore

I do feel safe at school. The fact that they have emergency calls here at school, the giant blue pillars, really put the feeling if safety not only in myself but other students. So whenever they feel afraid they can always just call security and security is always really just a call away from them. For people taking night classes it’s really a safety kind of thing. So when people walk to their cars they can call security. Whenever I see security walking around or driving at school, it’s a nice reminder that there is someone here around trying to protect everybody. I’ve always felt safe. In reality, I always felt that school is the safest place for me. Home and the streets were a bit more of a dangerous area for me. More than anything and than actual school. The school was safe. They have safety protocols such as earthquakes or lock-ins so whatever happens we had warmups for those things so we semi knew what to do. That made me feel safe at school. I am aware of the incident on Monday. The only good thing is that it wasn’t part of the school. Schools seem to be safe and at the end of the day we are here to study. That should be everyone’s focus.

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