Thursday, September 5, 2013


Yesterday there was a 2 hour lock down at the local jr. high because someone brought a loaded magazine to school.  I think "someone" was in 7th grade.  This caused quite a bit of stress and anxiety and per our current culture much Facebook discussion.

I don't own a gun.  I have never held a gun.  I had to ask someone if a magazine was what I thought it was.  So I asked a friend who happened to be staying with us who has had lots of experience with guns, he's military and his last deployment was kicking down doors going to house to house in Baghdad.

And then I thought about my son who is in 7th grade.  He is a sweet kid.  And he loves weaponry.  He likes to sit outside with his knife and whittle bows and arrows and spears and lances and attack orcs and things.  He does not like games in which the bad guys are people and so he avoids playing xbox with his friends.  He is one of my most level headed kids but he can be a little flighty.  I can totally see him getting on the bus with his knife in his pocket because he'd stuck in there while in the woods the night before and forgotten to take it out.  Luckily, I don't think a knife causes a lock down.  But if my son realized while he was on the bus that he had a knife in his pocket I think he'd freak out.  He knows the consequences   He'll go straight to worst case scenario.  And so I don't know if he'd turn it in or hope to get through the day undetected.

As I said, I don't think a knife causes a lock down scenario.  But unlike a bullet, it is readily a threat, without adding fire, or a gun or anything.

I do not check his pockets every morning before he gets on the bus.  Maybe I should.

Let's take this thought further for just a minute.  If my son had a grandfather who hunted. (and sadly he does not.) It would be totally possible for them to go out to shoot, lots of people around here have acreage out of town.  And in cleaning up it would be totally possible for him to stick a magazine in his pocket.  And it would be totally possible in all the hype of back to school for  him to forget about it.  Because it is not a stretch, my son is like that.  And if he got crucified for that, for unintentional forgetfulness, that is one heck of a lesson for a 12 year old.  Sure, there are consequences to be had at school.  But there were a lot of "bad parenting" "bad kid" kinds of things flying around social media yesterday and we don't know the story.  What if?

No.  My kids weren't in the building so it is easier for me to look in from the outside.  Yes, my kids have been in buildings in the past when a knife was found at school.  I rode a bus in 10th grade on which someone reported seeing a gun and we were all called into the Principle's office.  I was evacuated from school repeatedly in 7th grade due to bomb threats and we'd load buses and go home while the MPs came in with bomb dogs to check it out. (that turned out to be one kid, whose family was packed up overnight, shipped from Germany back to the US while their military sponsor was ordered to appear before court martial. Talk about a "lesson" )

I have actually been the parent of a kid who took something to school in 4th grade with the intent of hurting someone else:

The weapon of choice: Peppermint extract.
There was a kid on the bus "J" who enjoyed tormenting my then 4th grader.  While baking my son discovered that Peppermint extract had a bit of a sting to it.  He took the bottle to school and dumped it onto his tormentor.  After I got that call from the principal I checked his pockets and backpack every morning for 3 months.  He isn't the kid who likes to whittle with the knife.  In fact no real "weapon" was involved.  Just a little creativity.

I guess I'm just asking everyone to look at their kids, who they want to protect, and try to remember that the other kid is also a kid.  And maybe their parent is irresponsible.  Or maybe they aren't.  And ask yourselves when your kid runs through stop sign with a car in 4 years, even though nobody gets hurt someone could have been hurt or killed, maybe someone else's kid, if it is okay for everyone to freak out about it online.

Just wondering.

1 comment:

troutbirder said...

What a world we live in today.