I always thought that I had a good understanding of the danger our community and schools were in, but I really had no clue until I started to extensively research the Cascadia Subduction Zone during my senior year at Seaside High School.

The fact of the matter is that Seaside schools will not survive the magnitude of a Cascadia subduction earthquake. The schools will collapse on children, leaving them trapped as a large tsunami rolls in. Trapped with no way to escape, the majority of children in Seaside School District will either drown or be killed by a building collapsing on top of them. The few who manage to escape the collapsed building will have to overcome all odds to make it to high ground before the tsunami reaches land.

As students, we were oblivious. We believed we would make it out of the building after the earthquake hit, and if we moved fast enough we would be able to make it to high ground safely. This sense of hope that I and the other students had was completely false. The reality is that as long as Seaside schools continue to reside in the tsunami inundation zone, there is a very slim chance for students to survive a Cascadia event.

The new bond measure isn’t about enriching Seaside students with more advanced education opportunities that the 2013 bond measure provided, but instead simply providing safe, reliable facilities where students will be afforded peace of mind.

Our community needs this new campus. It can serve as the central location providing refuge, aid and relief after disaster strikes, with emergency supplies having been stored at the campus ahead of time. We cannot wait any longer. We are 73 years overdue, and need to start thinking pro-actively while we still have the chance. It shouldn’t come down to the students to convince people to move our schools, but that is exactly what has happened.

Taylor Barnes

Seaside

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