Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Perhaps . . .

In the midst of Elves, Santa, El Niño and finals, I woke up this morning to text messages out of control. Before I could read the over 30 messages, my phone rang. It was my friend, another mom from my kids' school.

"Are you sending your kids to school?" She sounded frantic and I did not know why.

"Yes, of course. Why?" I replied.

"Turn on the news". We don't have cable, so any news I get is from Facebook or online sites I may visit. Ostrich head in the sand or not, I have to say I have been much happier not watching the news on television. Also, my kids never see commercials or sensationalized versions of anything newsworthy or otherwise. I suppose this could be called the 'homeschool' version or current events. In any case, I checked the local ABC station and discovered that the Los Angeles Unified School District had closed based on a 'credible threat' they were as of yet analyzing.

I repeated to my friend that my kids would be at school, and she hurriedly said she would call me back. She didn't, but I caught up with her at school later, where her daughter would not leave the car. In the meantime, I quickly scanned Facebook and CNN, and determined that we were under no threat here. The only threats being made here were my unaware seven year olds annoying each other. As it should be, I thought.

Once I had them safely at school and some coffee safely in my bloodstream, I began to better process what was happening. My mother, a retired LAUSD teacher, was home, safe and sound. My children do not attend LAUSD. We do not live adjacent to LAUSD. However, being in Southern California, we are certainly close enough to any action that might occur to have some concern. While I ran down the gratitude list, I head on the radio that New York had received the same threat. It was also being stated that the email had been an anonymized hoax based in Germany. Perhaps of someone trying to evade finals at school? Who knows.

This hoax comment gave many relief, including my fellow mom friends at school. A few comments from people on Facebook referred to the snow days of their youth. Now our children have 'bomb threat days'. What a sad world.

This nostalgia sure hits the nail on the head. Perhaps one day my family will get to experience what my husband and I had as a child. Probably not though. My friend, Kim Tracy Prince, pointed out a phrase from the LAUSD Superintendent, 'an abundance of caution'.  Some of my friends were annoyed that NY called the LAUSD's decision an overreaction. They would rather have a cautious decision made than to send our children off to an unknown danger.

We are pretty direct with our little ones when they ask questions. When they come home today I wonder if perhaps they will have questions. I wonder what, if anything, they will have heard.

Though I felt no fear of sending my children to school, though I felt no worry for my mother, though I listened to the news and heard the comment about it being a hoax, I began to consider that perhaps this incident is a trial. Perhaps 'they' are testing to see what the reaction would be? Perhaps 'they' want to make us squirm without actual physical harm.

What is so damaging about this, is that though nothing appeared to actually happen, something did happen. More fear was spread. And that, perhaps, is the new weapon of choice.


  1. I wasn't concerned until I went to the campus. Nothing was going on there, but all the emotion of these news events that I carry in my head just got so overwhelming. I would also talk to my kids about it if they ask. So far they haven't. Just another day.

  2. Meanwhile, our already broke public school system loses millions of dollars with these hoaxes because when the kids aren't in school, the government doesn't pay.

    So. Caution, yes.
    But at what cost?

    It's such a fine line.
    Today I am determined to stanch the fear and live in hope.

  3. Indeed, fear is the new weapon of choice. Sad but true.