Monday's response to the phony bomb threat at Merrill Middle School got me thinking about how we deal with these incidents. I'm not that disappointed in the school--which had cops at the door and bag searches yesterday--but rather with the parents of the 50 or so students who were kept out of classes because of the threat.
It must be tough living in unfounded fear all the time. I say that not from the position of knowing this threat was a fake--but rather from the position that all of the threats written on bathroom walls over the years have turned out to be fakes.
I know there have been a number of highly-publicized incidents of school violence in recent years--but how many of them have been preceded by a note in a bathroom or a call on the school's voice mail system? The shooters in the Columbine attack never left a note warning everyone they were about to attack. Now they did make some disturbing videos showing their preparations for the attacks--but those were kept secret and never shown on Youtube or mailed to a local tv station. The kid who gunned down his principal at Weston High School never issued any threats either.
The Green Bay East High School attack plot was foiled by another student turning in his friends--not by a note left at the school. Ironically, parents should be more afraid of the days when their are no threats at the school than in the days following one. If the threat includes a "hit list", I can see keeping the kids at home--but for a note written on a bathroom stall??? Let's show a little more common sense and courage.