Blogs About Reading

Sound It Out

Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Safe and Sound? School violence.

March 27, 2007

"Suspicious packages" were found at Molly's elementary school Tuesday morning, just after we put her on the bus to go. All buses were diverted to the high school, and after sitting for awhile the kids unloaded into the high school gym, waiting while the schools were searched. Realizing the sweep would take hours, school was cancelled and kids were released to us anxious parents. Within an hour, Molly was home playing out front, drawing with chalk and kicking around her soccer ball....oblivious to the scare, and grateful for an unexpected day off from school!

But for me, it's different. This was our third scare in five days. Last week, there was a bomb threat at the middle school on Wednesday, and one at the high school on Thursday. Tuesday's "packages" resulted in two closed schools and hours of lost instructional time for over 2,200 students across the affected schools. Molly's asking lots of questions about the situation that I don't know how to / don't want to answer....and I just keep thinking (naively)....this is happening at our school? Good schools were the reason we moved into our neighborhood. I equated good with safe, but that feeling has been shaken this week.

Our superintendent said it best: School bomb threats disrupt more than student learning; they disrupt the entire community. They disrupt law enforcement, they disrupt businesses whose employees must leave to pick-up their children from school, and they disrupt our families and school neighbors. Responding to bomb threats cost our schools and our community money we need to be spending in our classrooms or in proactive law enforcement.

Sadly, our situation is far from unique. Schools in California, Mississippi, and Iowa have also dealt with bomb threats THIS WEEK!

The school has vowed to continue doing safety drills and reviewing the written safety plans. The faculty and kids did a great job on Tuesday, so their groundwork paid off. But for me (and many other parents in my neighborhood), the question remains: Are our children safe and sound at school?

Add comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables