Until such time as schools and other community buildings are created bomb proof, bomb threats will be made. We hear about them all the time, on the news and in the paper. Sometimes we see the results if a bomb threat is not just a threat. There are bad people out there who like the smell of fear and the chaos that come from blowing things up. Sickos.
Monday we found out that a bomb threat had been made in reference to an elementary school in the San Antonio area. The threat was rather specific as to the date, April 24th, but not much else appeared to be clear. Law enforcement officials contacted all the districts and alerted them to the threat. All the school districts let their campuses know, and procedures for closing off the campuses were initiated, as a precaution. After years of shoddy emergency preparations in my previous district, it was refreshing to see that the school districts in San Antonio had their plans ready to implement immediately.
But it certainly hasn't been fun.
We've all been locked inside all day, starting Tuesday. It's likely that this will continue until Friday. Playgrounds sit empty, sad without children playing on them. Movement inside the school is allowed, fortunately; I have to get up and walk a few times a day. Even the private schools are locking the children inside; my son's school even has people stationed at the locked doors. We've received the letters and the phone calls regarding the threat and assurances that everyone is safe.
Assurances haven't been enough for some people. There are a number of parents who have pulled their children from school for the week. What if? they've said, and instead of dealing with that question appropriately, they've had a kneejerk reaction. They are afraid, their fear wrapping tendrils around their brain and squeezing all common sense out of them. Fear is the name of the game for a person who calls in a bomb threat; the best way to stop someone like that is to refuse to be afraid.
I am not scared. Of all the things I get anxious about, this is not one of them. For me to not be worried about a bomb seems rather odd, but I'm not scared. I kissed my child and sent him off to school, and I know that he will be just fine. He has no idea what is going on, except that he has a spelling test today. I have a feeling that this day will be like any other day--nothing will happen, and we will all go home at the end of it.
Okay, I am a little scared, and the 'What its?' are roaring through my brain in a crushing flood. The world has lots of scary stuff in it. But I refuse to let my life be dictated by fear, no matter what. So I am here, at work, just like any other day.
But I'm not stupid. All this week, I've been extra vigilant. I've paid attention to the cars in the parking lot at my campus. I've looked underneath the bushes at the front of the school. I've scanned the area around me for suspicious items left lying about.
Just in case.