Trick or Treat

It was so warm for a few days there and now it’s pretty cool. I keep thinking I should be getting Halloween costumes ready rather than springy baskets.

The past two days have been eventful. Where to start?? Let’s see, I’ll talk about people distant to me and work my way inward.

My friend D’s nephew fell onto his snowboard and nearly cut his hand off, which meant several hours of surgery for him. Our mutual friend fell and broke her leg severely enough to require surgery. My grandmother’s cousin passed away.

The rat snake died. John got a teatnus shot. Willow saw a nutritionist who suggested I feed her carnation instant breakfast and sent me home with a free box of the stuff. (What’s healthiest in that product, the artificial flavors, the sugar or the caffeine in the “cappucino” flavor?)

Sophie opened the front door. Willow crawled out of it, but she didn’t navigate the step down to the porch well. She landed on her face and when I picked her up her mouth was bloody. She seems to be okay, but I was sure she’d knocked out all her teeth.

Lexy’s female classmate, K, (yes, the one he wanted to go to the nudist resort with) asked him to have sex with her. These are first graders for goodness sake! I didn’t know he had a clue what that might mean. So I asked him, “What did that mean?” He said, “It’s when a boy’s penis touches a girl’s vagina.”

Oh,” I said.

“But I don’t want to do that, Mom, so don’t worry.”

“Did K tell you that?”

“Naw, P (another girl in the class) told me a long time ago.”

I told him I was very proud that he’d made the right choice. We talked about how it isn’t something that kids do, and that lots of families didn’t even want their kids to know about it. I told him he could talk to me or to John and that we’d answer any questions he had about it, but that he really needed to not talk to his brother or other kids about it. He agreed. I don’t know if he’ll be able to resist the temptation though. Kids love to have top secret info to share.

First grade!! I was hoping this wouldn’t come up for another year or so. The funny thing was that John came in on the conversation after Lex had explained things to me and he asked John, “Do you know what sex is?” John said that, yeah, he knew about it. Lexy said, “Oh, well, Mom had no idea!” I guess his friend didn’t explain the connection between sex and babies!

Oh, there’s lots of other things, but I’m tired so I’ll end with this doozy. Here’s an email I got tonight from our school group, edited to leave out names.

I believe the entire (our school) and (school we share site with) communities are in need of immediate,
clear and thorough communication about this week’s sniper incident. We need to
know what the police did and plan to do about it, and what our school and district officials are doing to address valid concerns about campus safety as well as the fears of
our children.

Our first-grader told us about it this morning. She knew that after school on
Monday, a (o s) student in the on-campus daycare program was shot in the back with
a pellet gun by teenagers who were up on the roof of (s s). She’d heard
about it from a classmate who goes to the daycare program and who told her that
now he’s scared to go back there.

From the parent of the injured student, I learned that the daycare teacher
responded immediately and appropriately by bringing all the children inside and
calling 911. I’m told that when the police arrived, the teenagers had come down
from the roof but were still hanging out in front of the pre-school, apparently
making no attempt to flee or hide their weapon. The police questioned them, as
well as the injured student and another daycare student who witnessed the
shooting. The police examined the welt on the child’s back. The witness even
gave the police the pellet that his friend had been shot with.

However, the police officers apparently didn’t charge the shooters with assault
or any other crime. They didn’t take them into custody until their parents could
came to the police station. They didn’t confiscate their weapon. As of the next
morning, they apparently hadn’t even informed either principal about this
incident.

Throughout the epidemic of school violence in our country, a common refrain
seems to be that somebody knew in advance about threats or weapons being brought
to campus, but never told anyone. Here the police had a rare opportunity to
act swiftly and decisively in response to a blatant act of violence and
intimidation–but they utterly failed to do their job.

To the teens, the police have sent the message that shooting at kids from a
rooftop is no big deal–just child’s play. To the children of (o s) and
(s s) Schools, they have sent the message that even the police can’t or
won’t keep them safe from harm. To the school staff and parents, they’ve sent
the message that we’re on their own to deal with violence on our campus.

It seems that many of our children and parents have heard about this incident and are
very upset. I hope the following questions will be addressed as soon as possible,
because the rumors are flying…

1) Who is following up with the police–and how?

2) Why are we parents hearing about this first from our children?

3) What is being done to address our children’s fears?

4) What can we all do to make our campus safer?

Thank you,

Where to start with that??? I’m not so sure I want to send my child to school tomorrow.

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