Monday, January 28, 2013

Today It's OK

This morning, one of the high schools in my little suburb was evacuated following a bomb threat. It happened to be the high school attended by my niece and one of my nephews, so I took a special interest. As a precaution, the school district also placed nearby campuses on lockdown, and since that included the middle school attended by Precocious Daughter, I took an especially special interest.

The threat turned out to be a hoax, and all the kids were safely returned to their normal routines of slouching and saying “like” in short order. But before the police K-9 unit declared the high school free of bomb-smell, I unleashed a flurry of texts and calls among me, my sister, and her kids to make sure everyone knew what was going on and everyone was all right. Meanwhile, PDaughter was on the phone with her dad (who was then on the phone with me), doing the same thing. And of course, parents and the school district were spreading the word on Facebook.

It was a crowd-sourced bomb threat. Very 21st century.

Of course it was a hoax. I never really had a doubt, was never really too worried about it. And then I thought: Just like the parents in Newtown never had a doubt that their kids were safe at their school and would return home to them on December 14th, 2012, as they did every day.

And then I sort of freaked out. Because although there was every reason in the world to believe the bogus threat was nothing, there were way too many reasons why it could have turned out to be horribly real. The way it’s been horribly real for far too many families across the country and around the world.

That was also very 21st-century, in a way the Jetsons never imagined.

But today it wasn’t a tragedy. Today it was just some shit-for-brains douchebag making an idle threat for God knows what reason besides being an asshole. I refuse to be grateful to that anonymous little pusbag for only being a loser and not a homicidal loser. Instead I’m grateful to all the people who took the threat seriously – not because the hoaxer had any credibility, but because it was their job to make sure my kids and everyone else’s were OK.

Thanks to the police, from the dispatchers to the front-line officers who would have put themselves in harm’s way without question if the situation had called for it.

Thanks to the teachers and administrators who handled the evacuation at the high school, and to those who handled the lockdowns at other campuses, especially at PDaughter’s school, where they made sure every kid called home to let a parent know they were all right.

Thanks to the parents who stayed in touch, and the kids who reassured the parents (and the aunts).

And thanks to whatever entity is in charge of these things – God or fate or karma or the Flying Spaghetti Monster – it doesn’t matter what you call it – but thanks for creating an annoyance instead of a disaster.

I’m going to give PDaughter an extra-big hug tonight. I hope I irritate the hell out of her. Because I can.


  1. I cannot even imagine how terrifying that would be, hoax or not. School is supposed to be a safe place for our kids, not a potential war zone. I'm glad it all turned out ok and no one was hurt

  2. I can't even imagine something like that happening. I'm SO glad that everything turned out to the way it did. You're very lucky that PDaughter was able to call one of you! My kids schools' have made it abundantly clear that if there were an emergency, the kids will not be able to call home. That scares the shit out of me, honestly.


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