Y’all. I am freaking out.
Last night, my 13 year old came down to shoot the breeze with me in the kitchen. Every so often, we get a bit of time by ourselves and we get into some interesting conversations. Last night he was lamenting that he didn’t get the name I had originally wanted for him, when my phone rang. It was the school district, doing a robo call. The robo call system is a quick and easy way for them to let parents know if there is an issue, and early dismissal, and upcoming school closing, or other important info. This one came in rather late, and I pushed speaker phone to see what it said. The message was from my son’s school, letting us know there was an incident, and that it was being handled along with our local police department. I asked my son what had happened and he replied he wasn’t sure.
Today, while at work, my son texted me from the bathroom at school. Technically he’s not supposed to have his phone on him but as his mom, I allow him to keep it on him provided it is always on silent and that he never uses it at school unless it’s to reach me or his dad for an emergency. He’s been good about it, and frankly, with the amount of school shootings and other issues, I’m glad he has it on him.
He texted me that he had heard what the incident was, and that a student at the school had threatened to “shoot up the school”. Supposedly, the child had a “kill list” in his bag as well. My normally composed kid was uncomfortable and nervous…understandably so. How am I supposed to approach this conversation without any knowledge from the school as to what happened? A quick search on facebook reflected even more concern. Students were crying, anxious, and expressing fears. Parents were posting what their kids were telling them. The head “PTA Mom” in charge of the FB page yanked posts down. This pissed me off even more. Pretending these things don’t happen isn’t the answer. Hiding info only makes me more concerned, not less.
My son said his friend was unnerved enough today that he asked to go home. I think my son mulled it over as well.
These are such scary times. As a parent, nobody teaches you how to handle these types of things. There is no guidebook. There isn’t much help. Seeing police parked outside of the school doesn’t truly take the fear away of what is happening within the walls. Do we have our kids go through metal detectors? Check their bags each day? Do we treat our children like prisoners so we can ensure their safety? At what point do we stop and say “enough”?