Just a couple of loose ends from yesterday

Click here to read about it via the news.

What a relief it was to come home from work (an hour early) yesterday so I could see (and hug) my son before I had to head off again, for my Wednesday night spin class.

Great feeling? When I walked into the family room from the garage and heard his size 12 feet running down the stairs from his bedroom to hug me.

Great feeling? When I found out that two of his really good friends from the Boy Scout Troop, each of whom goes to a different high school in the other district in our town, were texting him during the whole ordeal to check on him. I’m talking about fifteen texts from one of them. How sweet is that?

Not-so-great feeling? In discussing what had happened, there were two things that disturbed me enough that I had to zip off an e-mail to the principal. I’ll just let you read it, along with her nice response.

First, of course, my note:

Dear *Insert Principal’s Name Here*,

I know that today has been a long day for you and, probably, the last thing you want to do is read e-mails about it, but I want to get this out before I let it go and never get it done at all.

First, I’m really glad that everybody was safe today. That was a major relief.

I wanted to let you know that my son had a substitute in his English class (1st period) today; I don’t know her name but she was subbing for *Insert English Teacher’s Name Here*. The Boy told my husband and me that this substitute did not have any idea what the “Lockdown Protocol” was. To us, that is unacceptable in a high school in today’s world. I’m not sure who is responsible for training or screening substitutes before they work any amount of time at the high schools, but I think that there should be some follow-up on this issue; as we learned today, you never know when or where a lockdown is going to happen. For the kids in that classroom–already worried–to have a substitute who doesn’t know the emergency routine, that makes things a little more scary for them, in my opinion.

The Boy also told us that only the African-American students in his classroom were searched. This is probably a police issue and not yours, but I am not sure of the logic of this and wanted to make you aware. Regardless of whether the two suspects were confirmed by one or more witnesses to be African-American, I would think that, in a lockdown situation where nobody is able to leave the building, it is quite possible that a weapon could be in safe keeping with a friend of another race, right? The thought of The Boy’s best friend (who is African-American) and the other four African-American students in his classroom being searched while the other students of other races were not was really disturbing to me. (A sidenote: The Boy said that some of his friends in other classes told him that everybody in their rooms was searched; I think that’s a bit inconsistent for a safety situation like this.)

I know that you have only certain things under your control and I am certainly not criticizing you or the way the school staff handled things; on the contrary, I think that you all did everything within your control and, after all, everyone is totally safe. For that I am grateful. I just wanted to let you know about those two issues so that should this–God forbid–happen again, you will have these considerations in your protocol where you can.

Thank you very much; I hope you can relax a little bit today!


Melisa with one S

Her response was quick (I was surprised; thought she’d be totally wasted by mid-evening):

Melisa, I couldn’t agree more re: the substitute issue. I will look into this asap. The search was to be of every student, according to *Insert Town Here* police. The rationale for searching everyone was that if the gun were real it would have been passed to anyone. I will pass this information on the *Insert Town Here* PD. We did have several different jurisdictions helping with the search but they all should have conducted the searches in the same manner. I thank you so much for your comments. Thank goodness we had practiced lock down drill in Sept. I hope we never have to do this again. *Insert Principal’s Initials Here*

*Insert School Secretary’s Name Here*, Will you look into an information sheet and review of the information for all subs, please? Thanks.

I was so freaking annoyed about the search that went on in his classroom. I felt pain in my heart for his best friend, a boy I ADORE. I am angry that the idiot officers who happened to search that classroom perpetuated a stereotype. I told the 16-year-old this morning that, if he and his buddy talk about this, I want him to let his friend know that I sent this note to the principal because I was outraged for him and for the other four. Arghhh!

On the bright side, I’m glad the principal was quick to respond, and if her secretary really does get something going for the substitutes, well then I guess I’ve done a good deed by initiating that idea.

All in all? I’m relieved it’s over and hope it doesn’t happen again. There’s always hope, right?