Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Safe and sound

After a long day at school I'm finally home and able to stop being "teacher" and start being "human."

In the nine years I've taught, I've never been evacuated from the building for a bomb threat. Everything went as smoothly, I think, as it could have. I was scared twice: the first time when we were leaving the building and the kids were taking their sweet time getting out (turns out we had 2000 students and the full staff evacuated in under four minutes, an impressive time to be sure). The second time was when I and another teacher had to break up a fight that erupted in the bleachers after the kids had been sitting there for over two hours. We pulled apart the kids, but suddenly there were a lot of kids in our faces, and with the pushing and shoving and falling into each other that happens when a large group is moving quickly in bleachers, well, it was unnerving. My hands were shaking afterward, and I don't remember the last time that happened.

I am impressed with our students, with the administration, and with my fellow teachers (some of whom stayed after the evacuation to do a preliminary sweep of the building for any "suspicious objects"). The kids were incredibly patient, considering there were 2000 of them all sitting with nothing to do for around 3 hours, with no food, no water, and a line for the port-a-potties a mile long. The administration got the proper authorities notified immediately and when I went back into the building I felt completely safe. They also made the wise decision to keep school in session (nothing rewards a bomb threat like an early release from school). My fellow teachers, well, with few exceptions they stepped in wherever they were needed and between all of us we were able to keep control over a situation where no one knew exactly what was going on.

I hate that we live in the time that we do, where we actually have to have protocol in place for a bomb threat. But, I'm thankful that we have learned from those that have come before us in the form of Virginia Tech, Columbine, and countless other school violence issues inbetween, so that the most damage I came out with today was a sunburn.


jamais vu said...

The kind of stress kids have to deal with today is just unbelievable. I don't think I would've survived my growing up years if the world was as scary then as it is now. Glad everything turned out okay for you and the rest of the teachers and kids. Is there anything scarier than "mob" mentality? Fundamentalists might be scarier I suppose.

Kelly said...

Thanks Jamais vu!

The true episodes of mob mentality I've witnessed have been the scariest of my sheltered life...