JERSEY CITY — A massive historic building that sits on top of a hill in downtown Jersey City opens its doors to 2,000 high school students every weekday.
William Dickinson High School is the first public high school in the city. Since 1906, it has witnessed some unfortunate events — including this one two years ago, just right outside its gates.
“Jersey City parang dangerous na city. It could like happen anytime,” says 11th grader Christian Calairo.
“There’s fights here and there, everyone once in a while, sometimes it gets crazy and cops come, around 10 cop cars. Nothing too crazy. It happens once in a while,” said Michael Briola, a Dickinson High School student.
Briola is graduating this year, and has seen his own share of danger, going to a public school in a big city.
But recent gun violence incidents on school campuses around the country make him wonder if teachers should be more prepared.
“I’d like them to have training though so if anybody comes in armed, there is some way to take them down.”
Ervin Calo does not want to see his teachers armed with weapons to feel safe.
“We have drills for like lockdowns, we just sit there and lock the doors, it’s a good practice so if this does happen, we’ll know what to do.”
John Cabrezos arrived from the Philippines five years ago. He worries about his safety, but he knows his parents worry even more.
“Yung mama ko na narinig nya po yung what happened sa shooting sabi nya always be careful from the situation na ganyan, uwi ka diretso.”
Dickinson High School has safety measures in place including metal detectors, resource officers and if needed, uniformed police officers outside.
But these students say even with all of that, they still wonder if danger could find its way inside these walls.