By Fred Scarf, 17, Birmingham HS (Lake Balboa)
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Last Thursday morning on April 19, a student was arrested at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys for bringing a BB gun to school. News reports say the student was showing the gun to a classmate. The story made news in the Los Angeles area as the nation continued to process the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech in which 32 people were killed earlier in the week.  Staff writer Fred Scarf, who attends Birmingham, wrote about what happened at his school from the student perspective.

They kept it pretty quiet at Birmingham. I got the information Friday from my Spanish teacher. I heard there was a kid who brought a gun to school. In first or second period, he was showing off his gun to a bunch of students. When some students saw the gun, they went crazy and texted their friends, parents and even the news media. News helicopters came before the principal knew about the situation. I heard they didn’t want to make a big scene because they didn’t want to make the student with the gun tick and shoot anyone. Finally, the police came and arrested four students. I know the student with the gun is in jail right now. Birmingham did not have any lock-downs. Most students did not even know what was going on until fourth period when it was announced that the student with the gun had been arrested. The principal announced that everything was OK. When the announcement came on, most students didn’t even know that there had been a student with a gun on campus.

I thought it was smart for Birmingham not to tell students about this situation, because if students knew, they would have all freaked out. The incident didn’t really affect me and I didn’t think about the Virginia Tech incident when this happened. I don’t see Birmingham as a dangerous school and have never gotten threatened or harassed. When I walk around campus I don’t feel like my life is in danger. One of my teachers talked to the class about Virginia Tech and the incident at school. She told us to be careful of what we say and do around people because they might just snap. I agree with my teacher and am always very careful of what I say and do around people. I also wear simple, plain clothes because I never want to stick out or offend anyone.