Here’s the $64,000 question: Your child’s school has come into play for some kind of threatening event and the school district and police are informed of it in advance. What, as a parent, do you do?
As we all know, there was a terrible event at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut a short time ago that has become the new standard (for lack of a better word) when we talk about this kind of stuff. So, what do you? Do you pull your child from school for the day? Do you trust the administration in conjunction with town officials and the police department to keep your child safe and send them to school? The answer is yes ... and no ... and what? There’s no right or wrong answer here; if you feel comfortable you send them, if you don’t then it’s a day of hot pockets and TV. Other than the processed-food portion of this scenario, both are good decisions. At the end of the day, you have to feel comfortable.
Admittedly, there have been a few harsh words flying around about how this whole thing was handled. Here’s what I have to say: Unless you’re some kind of authority that deals with this kind of thing on a day-to-day basis, then it’s best left to the professionals.
Truth be told, this is fresh water we’re dealing with here.
Over the weekend I went to a Crossfit competition and was standing around all day. At one point I left the competition to get a pack of gum. As I was putting the change in my wallet a man came over and put a 12-pack of beer down and then threw a pornographic magazine and DVD on the counter right in front of me (with a slap, not quietly set down). Trying to put a little humor in an uncomfortable situation I suggested that there was a party at his house that night. Okay, that unleashed a short series of events that led into a long chain of expletives that challenged me. Even though I immediately retracted my "joke" he kept coming at me. And even though I was easily twice his size he keep it up. I finally was able to tell him in no uncertain terms that I meant no offense and understood that I offended him and was sorry and then asked him if he understood that. When he nodded yes, I was able to un-puff and walk away.
But you see, that makes my point that to a certain degree we live in unreasonable times. One person thinks they’re making a joke and the other person goes bananas, when a simple mind-your-own-business would have done the trick.
People now see Newtown, Conn., and realize it’s a whole new level of unreasonable, because it is.
Then right here, in our very own community, a threat to the general way we move about the planet, or at least to our children. The mental images that pop up are horrific and again unacceptable. When we’re faced with unreasonable behavior it can sometimes force us to act out of character and sometimes we do and say things we don’t mean. But here’s the good news: We all have a little something called patience and if we apply it when these situations arise it’ll take us a lot further. There was no right or wrong this past Monday, only gut feelings and for someone to be critical of that is actually the unreasonable part of this whole conversation.
Me? I wish we didn’t live in these times where we have to wonder what the next horrific thing will be. But we do, and how we handle them will dictate how we move forward. And let me add that I’ll think twice before I buy a pack of gum with sorbitol in it. That stuff causes unreasonable behavior. What the hell is up with that?