The high school in my district has received two bomb threats (at least) since the shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Yesterday, they sent the high school children home early in “an abundance of caution.” Today, they told all the high school and middle school students to not bring backpacks or gym bags to school. The middle school is separate from the high school, but on the same campus. At the middle school, everyone was to be dropped off at one entrance, and children would be searched as they entered the school.
Delays were expected. The message from the school specifically asked that parents dress children for the weather because they were likely to be outside for a while.
Dan and I elected to keep the girls home from school today. (Michael’s school is not near the high school and middle school campus. His bus was so late today that Dan ended up driving him to school. The middle school and elementary schools share buses.)
The girls had asked to be kept home from school, as well, although Katie did miss a test. It was all very anxiety provoking.
On one hand, the likelihood of anything happening was very small. The threats were deemed “non-credible.” The administrations of both schools were taking every precaution they could. The schools had a police presence.
On the other hand, what used to be unthinkable is something that happens with some regularity now.
Part of me struggles to have sympathy for a child who feels the need to threaten to bomb his school. Clearly, someone acting that way has some issues, and is doing the only thing he can do to be heard and noticed.
Some of me wonders if it’s a child’s idea of a prank.
Some of me wonders if the child is simply a sociopath, enjoying the chaos and fear his actions are causing.
In those latter two cases, my sympathy shrivels.
I am not here for the debate on guns, although you can find plenty of my thoughts on them elsewhere on this blog.
I am not here for a debate on mental health or school safety, either. Do those things need to be addressed? Sure. In which case, fund them. Give people the resources they need to get mental health care, and to secure their schools — not by arming teachers. That is not the solution. Heck, give teachers the resources to actually TEACH, including basic supplies, in-classroom aides, and a supportive administration and board.
How much closer to home does it need to get for things to change?
I admire the passion and activism of the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. We are still talking about this a whole week plus later, which is a change. I am here for the change.
If you are interested in making a difference, find a March for Our Lives event near you.