Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Grateful That It Wasn’t Worse

There was an incident in one of our local High Schools yesterday; a fourteen year old boy slashed the throat of a seventeen year old girl whom he didn’t even know. The boy, who was not a student at the school or at any school in the district, was arrested minutes after the incident. The girl is recovering from the surgery that was performed immediately following the attack and the school did an amazing job handling what could have been an even bigger tragedy.

One of the women from my service club happened to be at the school at the time that it happened and she said that the kids’ response to the attack and to the immediate lock-down that followed was nothing short of amazing. She said that, once the lock-down was announced over the intercom system, the students moved with practiced skill and she was left standing alone in the hallway less than a minute later. One of the administrators was then kind enough to show her to a classroom where she joined the lock-down and she had nothing but praise for the school, the staff and the students in the minutes that followed. Her surprise at how little chaos there was, given the situation, was evident.

The school is not the high school that our kids will be attending when the time comes but, since we reside in the district, our kids have been practicing the same lock-down drills since they started school. On the one hand, the need for such drills breaks my heart-when I was growing up, we had fire drills and bus safety drills and that was pretty much that-but, after yesterday, I am so grateful to live in a school district that has given such a high priority to the safety of our students.

Yes, one obviously mentally ill person managed to get through but, in the big picture, my feeling of security for my kids while they are attending our public school remains pretty solid and I am grateful that I can say that.

The victim of the attack is expected to recover and her family is encouraging the community to pray for the family of the boy who attacked her; he obviously needs help and maybe now, he will get it and, while he does, he will be off the streets and unable to attack another innocent person.

The school personnel and students are being praised for their handling of the situation as is the local police department. There are counselors on sight at the school to help any student who feels the need to talk to someone and that opportunity is also being made available to the students-like mine-at neighboring schools within the district.

When you think about how much worse the situation could have been, you really do have to count your blessings as well as those of your community.

6 comments:

Posey said...

that IS something to be grateful for.

Erika said...

Oh God, that is so scary. I got chills reading it. I'm glad the girl is ok and that the school was prepared, but I agree, it is so sad that have to be.

tamara said...

That is so frightening. My little boy's school has "intruder drills" which is a scary thing to think about, but like you said, it has become necessary in these weird times we live in. Things are so different now. I am glad the victim will be okay, though I am sure it will be a long road to recovery.

Finlands finest said...

It sounds like the school was prepared! I am saddened by our need to have these drills too. I am even sadder that so many schools have used those drills in an actual emergency situation. Glad the victim will be ok!

Melimel said...

I saw it on the news and thought of you instantly!! WOW I am so glad she is okay.. it is VERY sad..and I hate to know this is what our kids are growing up in.. can you imagine our poor grandkids????

Andy said...

That was up by you? How terrifying! I guess, at least in this state, that Columbine and the attack up in Bailey a few years ago have encouraged the schools to have plans and practice them. I'm just so glad no one else was hurt, that the girl is going to be okay physically, and hopefully the boy can get the help he desperately needs. It could have been so much worse.