Saturday, September 6, 2014

Crayons to Ka-Booms



Photo credit: The Antelope Valley Times

We hear it on the news all too frequently, a bomb threat has been issued and entirely too often it’s at a school. It’s usually in some faraway place and we empathize with the families that are impacted by the scare. Then there’s that one time that it’s in our own backyard.

That one time happened in our community three – yes, you read that right, THREE – times in the span of only TWO days. We live in what is generally considered a quiet, almost sleepy, middle class city where there’s a fairly low crime rate. Obviously that doesn’t make our community exempt from incidents, threats, and crimes, but the idea of three school bomb threats in two days certainly makes you stop and wonder what’s going on.

One of those threats was in a middle school and the other two were in the same elementary school, one on each of the two days. Think about that for a second – an ELEMENTARY school. In our school district, elementary schools are grades K – 5 and middle school is 6 – 8.
Here’s the really alarming part of these threats, at least for me. The news broadcasts about the elementary school threats stated that the second threat was written on a bathroom wall in a “different color crayon” than the first. Crayon….can you even imagine seeing something like this scrawled in crayon?
Photo credit: KXLY.com

What does that say about our kids? Do they not understand the seriousness of this kind of event? Are they hurting so badly they have to scream out for help in such dramatic fashion? Teenagers are almost always tortured souls, but these kids are between the ages of 5 and 10. What is our society doing to them that they display or imitate this kind of action?

Wow…that was my only reaction when I heard that line about the threats being written in crayon. It made my heart hurt for our kids and our society in general.

Thankfully, none of the threats were real. Officials searched the schools each time and found nothing, but the terror each parent had to feel when they got the call or heard it on the radio was tangible. The trepidation and fear that each student felt was shaking.

To say the entire scenario is alarming is an understatement. These kinds of antics are seeping into kids at younger and younger age levels every day. I don’t profess to have answers, but we do need to do something. Kids deserve a chance to be kids and shouldn’t be subjected to these kinds of events. I realize a threat doesn’t hold a candle to what the kids in the Middle East face daily and my heart bleeds for those young lives, but change starts at home. Maybe if we all think before we speak or act in front of kids, we all might help make a difference.

UPDATE: The local police department has identified and arrested an 8 YEAR OLD for inducing panic. This child is now facing charges in county juvenile court. My heart just breaks for this child! What is going on to push him/her this far?!

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