Ignorance is not bliss

Today I am thankful for:

  • a wonderful weekend* with my college kids
  • SuperDad’s safe adventure on the river*
  • The proactive work of our high school staff, the school district resource officers, and the city police department.
Whoa. I think that last one needs a little bit of explanation…

Detectives had been working on a case for more than a week, involving graffiti found that referenced a   “Columbine-style shooting” at our high school. I knew none of this (because I live in a vacuum we rarely watch television, we don’t get the newspaper –which totally sensationalized the situation — and somehow we are not on the automated call list for parents at our high school) until I stumbled upon a news headline on the computer on Tuesday night. In horror, I read the news that a 16yo student had been arrested for allegedly plotting a “Columbine-style shooting” at H-J’s high school this Friday (the 13th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado).
I spent several hours awake that night, trying to wrap my head around the concept of how someone the same age as my own son could plan such an awful, horrible, terrible thing.

Then last night, I saw the following message on our school website:

Today, April 18, we received new information regarding the alleged threat reported earlier this week.  This afternoon we were told by the police department that they found no weapons or maps in the student’s home and that he was not involved with any other students.
We have also received information that the court has released the suspect on house arrest, which means he will be under the direct supervision of his parents 24/7, and that he is restricted from accessing any school property in [our] County.  

Obviously, I’m relieved. And tired, because I lost several hours of sleep while my brain worked overtime, alternately fretting and praying in the wee hours of Wednesday. I’d like to think that when I send my kids off to school, they are in a good and safe environment. But really, there are no guarantees.
As Jenn wrote (in a strange coincidence, the same day our school officials were notified of the threat), we have our illusions that we are in control of things, events, and people in our lives, but it is just that — an illusion.  If you haven’t read Jenn‘s post, Shattered Solitude, please go read it. It’s a good reminder that we are not in control.


*More about these* tomorrow!


7 thoughts on “Ignorance is not bliss

  1. What a scary situation.

    Our public high school made a lot of mistakes with their automated call system, like the time it called 1100 families (wait, that’s the whole student body!) to erroneously say their students had unexcused absences. But at least it was working!

  2. Long before you even lived in Virginia, about the time of the Colorado high school shootings, Loudoun Valley H.S. got a threatening phone call that said every blond child that walked out of the school would be shot. Naturally, everyone was locked inside for the entire day until they could deem it was a prank call. My son Kevin was only around 8 years old at the timeout it was still very disconcerting since he was and still is at the age of 20 now, a blond child. I used to think about that terrible prank phone call a lot when he did attend Loudoun Valley for high school. The things this world throws at us and our children, sometimes, are just too unthinkable and yet we do have to think about them and be prepared for whatever comes.

  3. Wow! Scary for you, and I can’t imagine being the parents of the child who made the threat, even if there’s no evidence he was actually going to do anything. What makes a child do that, and as a parent, how do you “fix” it?

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