Today was quite full of excitement. I dropped my boys off at school at 7 this morning. Came home and started cleaning up while dealing with my little diva of a daughter. Today was to be early release at their school. So I had to drop her off at 10 AM. As I pull up, there is a bus in front, no teachers, no students waiting. Another parent and child are talking to the bus driver. The bus drives away and I'm thinking I will have to park and take my daughter in as their clock must be fast and they will argue with me that she's tardy... Such trivial thoughts going through my head in comparison to what's really going on. The other parent stops me and tells me to get my daughter and get back in the car. A police SUV is parked in front of the school. The parent gestures and says, "The school is under lockdown. Cops are searching the surrounding for someone. Lock yourself in your vehicle with your child and wait."
Here I am, 34 weeks pregnant, trying to take my little girl to school... and the neighborhood is getting searched. My boys are locked in their classroom. No potty breaks. No one goes in. No one comes out. Can you imagine the roller coaster my emotions were on?
I sit there for few minutes. Nothing happening. Another officer shows up and starts telling people who are arriving to get in their vehicles. Then she says they just need to leave. No explanation besides, "We are looking for someone. School is under lockdown."
Tell me something I don't know, lady! Tell me my kids are safe. Tell me the person you are looking for isn't armed or dangerous. I don't want to know their name or what they look like at this point. But with this kind of manhunt going on, it seems like they did something really bad.
But no. I don't get that gesture of trust. Instead I get my daughter back into her seat and we get our butts home. Where I pace and bake a batch of cookies. My hands shake, my mind goes nuts, and part of me wants to cry. Then I get angry, because I'm not one to cry. Stupid hormones.
Just before I'm heading to work, I get a recorded message from the school. It mentions that the school was locked down because the police asked for it to be. But goes on to say the school wasn't in danger. Really? Then why did the police search the neighborhood surrounding the school? How do I know? I watched as I sat there locked in my van with my daughter. And the way they were swarming, yeah.... not feeling confident on the safety of the school.
After I'm headed to work, my neighbor and friend goes to pick up the kids. The police are telling people that they still haven't caught the suspect. And that everyone should be careful. Now here's another problem I have. You locked down the school. No one in, no one out. That is meant to keep everyone safe until the police find their man. But at noon, you are releasing them regardless of the police finishing their search or not. Does this make sense to you? Suppose their suspect was hiding nearby and opened fire when those doors opened? Suppose he mingled with those parents walking up to collect their kids and snatched one as a hostage? Call me crazy... but how is this a safe practice? So what if a couple officers are standing guard? What would they possibly do in the face of either situation mentioned? I'd love to use those rose-colored glasses you are wearing if you put your faith in the police. But considering everything that has been seen in this city... no thanks. I'm grateful to the team in blue. I just don't trust every decision they make. There was nothing posted on the news sites. Nothing mentioned when you run an internet search. I still don't know who the person was or what they did that had the police chasing them. For all I know, that person is still at large in our neighborhood. But who cares? Right? Kids are home with me for the weekend. School isn't liable, I can protect them, and everything gets swept under the rug. Move on. End of story.
As a concerned parent, as an over-protective mother, I don't think this is right. I don't like cover-ups. I don't like secrets. I don't like knowing that someone potentially put my kids at risk. My babies are my life. And heaven help the fool who ever tries to bring them harm. They won't need a judge and jury to decide their fate.