So I am at work yesterday afternoon and I get a panicked phone call from my wife because neither of our sons (my stepsons) have shown up from school. Now one has an after-school program he goes to and she is supposed to pick him up at school, but our other son is nowhere to be found. She drives frantically to the school and upon arriving sees no buses anywhere, and more importantly the school is surrounded by police and fire department vehicles. She asks a police officer what is going on and he explains that all the kids were evacuated from the middle school to the high school (which is down the road about 3/4s of a mile), but has no information as to why.
The kids make it home all right, but they were forced to evacuate without being able to at least bring their coats, and yesterday was cold and rainy, which made neither of us happy.
When I got home, I went on the school district web site and sure enough, my guess as to what happened had been accurate: someone had made a bomb threat to the school. Now, we live in central NJ, basically out in the middle of nowhere important, midway between NYC and Philly. We're a fairly diverse, more upscale community, and up until yesterday, peaceful.
This was a middle school, for crying out loud! 4th through 8th graders! 1000+ kids! And someone, some moron, thought it would be funny (or perhaps mean, or even psychotic) to call in a bomb threat to the school about five minutes before dismissal.
I hope it was not a kid in the school, because if it was, I want the the child to watch their parents be flayed alive. Yes, I'm that mad right now. I suspect when I calm down, I will only want them stoned to the point of unconsciousness. If it was an adult, they better have a horrible mental illness, because that's the only thing that would keep me from finding them myself and stringing them up in the center of town. Again, when I calm down, I'll probably be human enough to allow them to live, but horribly crippled. I can't say.
I may be in this state owing to the 9/11 flashback I had when I read it was a bomb threat, for on that day, as I sat in my office, stunned and pretty much incoherent to the disaster going on around me, a higher up came through and told each person still there (there were only a handful of us at the time) that someone had called in a bomb threat against our building in Midtown. It didn't move me to leave, because I knew this was more idle threat than actuality, but it pissed me off that someone thought now was the chance to get in their licks while the lower end of Manhattan was smoking and burning. I don't know if they ever found out who did it, and that person should probably be glad I don't know who they are.
I've watched Oklahoma City, 9/11, Columbine, Virginia Tech... seen them come and go and promised myself I would do everything in my power to keep my kids away from those types of events, full well knowing it's impossible to predict the actions of madmen. And now I'm just so pissed off that it's hard to articulate. The world is so full of problems and we live with enough fear of the unknown now that something like this is unconscionable.
I only hope I calm down.