TV crews were parked outside the high school before dawn for news segments, and cops were all over the place. Two other schools in the area received similar threats this morning, but those were quickly ruled copycats and not viable.
Then, just after noon, the school went into lockdown when the fire alarm went off. A couple parents who were on campus started alerting others on Facebook, while students started sending panicked texts because they didn't know what was going on. It started a frenzy amongst parents, even though a text from a teacher came through within ten minutes of the alert stating that the lockdown had been a planned response to any alarm going off. Then a half hour after that, it was called off and parents were told that it was boys smoking in the bathroom who had set it off.
There was a mass exodus of students after that. Alex didn't come home because he didn't think there was anything to really worry about. It had a logical explanation, and he'd felt perfectly safe in his classroom.
The police issued a lengthy statement after school stating that things would go back to normal tomorrow with the exception that there would be continued police presence until the person making the threats is caught. They detailed as much as they could about their investigation, going back to the initial rape threats in September, which allayed the worst of my fears. Unsurprisingly, most of the parents refuse to believe them, and their hysteria continues.
It's frustrating. I trust that the police don't want anything bad to happen. More than half of them have kids who attend the school. They want their kids to be safe, too. I understand investigations can take time, especially when the threats are being done via Snapchat. But reason seems to have left the building with most of these parents. They refuse to believe anything they're being told, they all seem to think that crimes get solved in an hour like on TV, and - oh, yeah - they're spreading their paranoia to parents of schools that have had no involvement in any of it yet whatsoever. They've even started talking about how we need to fight to let teachers have guns. *headthunk*
Yes, I'm afraid for Alex. Yes, I would be devastated if something happened. But more and more, I'm convinced this was a scare tactic, and it's working. The person behind this spread fear, and it's still growing. But I did not raise my kids to be afraid of the world. Alex knows the risks. We've talked about all the ramifications and aspects of this. He wants to go to school. If he wanted to stay home, I would let him. None of my friends understand our decision or why I seem so calm about it all. I'm sure they think I'm an awful mom because of it.
I don't care. Fearmongering is how our country has gotten to its current state. I will not play into any form of it. We still have to function in this world, and if we hide in our homes, waiting for the boogeyman to go away, the boogeyman wins.