BSM experiences first lockdown in history


Celia Smithmier

BSM’s recently updated security system requires students to scan electronic ID cards if they need to enter the building during school hours.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s has gone forty years without experiencing a lockdown. On Friday May 23, BSM experienced its first lockdown in school history. The events that led up to this Code Yellow lockdown involved an agitated woman requesting help from one of BSM’s teachers. As this woman became more upset, BSM’s Senior High Assistant Principal, Ms. Andersen felt that the school should be put into a lockdown.

The disturbed woman came into the building on Friday morning reporting that she was being chased and that she was in trouble. A teacher who was there at the time brought this woman into the the entryway. However, within moments of her entrance, the teacher realized that something was wrong with her: she had no purse and no shoes.

Realizing the woman was hallucinating, Ms. Andersen felt that the police should be involved in this matter. BSM’s security guard, Mr. Creer, helped to detain the woman until the police arrived. Soon after the police came, the woman began to run away, but was overpowered by the police officers. It was at this point that Ms. Andersen felt that the lockdown was necessary. “I called the lockdown because I didn’t want anybody leaving the building,” Ms. Andersen said.

The police called an ambulance for the woman, and once she was stabilized and on her way to the hospital, the administration decided to call off the lockdown. After this, those that were involved in the events that took place debriefed with the police. “We took notes of what happened and the police gave us their input on how we handled the situation correctly,” Andersen said.

Shortly after the lockdown, the administration contacted all students and parents to keep them informed of the events that had taken place. “I wanted everyone to know what had happened since this was our school’s first lockdown in history,” said Anderson.

Should BSM be placed in another lockdown, Ms. Anderson said that the school would go through the same procedures. “I thought the school handled the lockdown very well and even though I never felt the student body was in danger, I thought it was necessary because keeping everyone inside the building keep everything under control; it was less chaotic,” Andersen said.