As a parent, it isn't the call you want to get. But I got it today.
"There has been a bomb threat - all the children have been evacuated and are safe." I can honestly say that my heart stopped for a moment as I heard these words uttered by my child's teacher. I like to live in my little bubble - actually, I prefer to live in my bubble; however sometimes the world has other plans.
Today apparently, is one of those times.
Who knows whether the kid who scribbled the grafitti was serious or not? Whether it was done as a foolish prank, or if there was some sincerity behind it? Unless they catch the culprit, we will probably never know - and even if they do, that information may never come to light. But does it matter, really?
Because this is what I know after my experience this morning:
Our school takes things seriously.
The entire situation, including the evacuation and notification of families, was handled professionally and within appropriate time lines.
There was clear communication, with a strong emphasis on "all the children are safe".
Safety plans were implemented quickly and efficiently. When I spoke with my son's teacher, and indeed, when I encountered other staff at the evacuation point, they were calm, clear, and concise. When I walked in the door, I felt safe - and it appeared that the children in the environment felt that way too.
And isn't that what is most important? Isn't this the message we want to send our children?
We will keep you safe. We will protect you. You are important to us. We will keep you safe.
Yes, we can focus on the fact that it's terrible that these things happen. That there are people in this world who wish to do harm. That there are selfish people out there who wish to create trouble, chaos, and a sense of fear and feelings of not being safe. There are people who will target the most vulnerable in our community. All these things are true. And it is unfortunate. And yes, no one is immune (even if we do prefer to live in a bubble).
But today, my school proved to the community that it will do whatever needs to be done to make sure everyone is safe. I am thankful for the Administration, who put our children's safety ahead of education today. I am thankful for the Teachers and the Aides, who calmly assisted our children in leaving the school and moving to a safe location. I am thankful for the Support Staff who greeted us at the door and let us know where to find our children and made sure that all were accounted for. I am thankful for the Bus Drivers who rearranged their day to ensure our children made it home safely. I am thankful for the Parents who assisted with the phone fan out, who made sure that information was disseminated in a timely manner.
These are the things I will choose to emphasize to my children. And these are the things I will cherish about our school. Thank you for making leaving my bubble today just a little bit easier.