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My Son’s School Went Into Lockdown

photoYou read that correct. Worst nightmare.

I was at First for Women magazine coordinating looks for a major photo shoot that would be taking place down in Miami. Just imagine 400 swimsuits and accessories. It’s a big, glorious job that I truly enjoy. It’s the most important time of the year for me at the mag. My cell phone buzzed in my back pocket and this email came up:

Dear Parents,

Our corporate office has uncovered a conversation on Twitter by a local High School student that potentially threatens our Schools.  We take all potential threats very seriously, we have contacted our local authorities and they are investigating the situation. Although there is no immediate or direct threat to our specific school, we have been placed on voluntary lockdown.  This means that our children are not outside. All of our doors are locked, including the double front doors. All of our blinds are shut and classroom windows are covered. There is also a police officer  currently in our parking lot and he will continue to monitor the situation as well.

We will keep you informed as we learn more. 

***

After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, in addition to a variety of personal issues (my friend’s recent death), I just lost it. Dropped the bikinis that were in my hands and called my dad.

photo

I was 45-minutes away and he was 10. He went to the school and spoke to the cop (turned out to be an old pal of his). My dad offered to bring JD home and watch him, but the cop and admin assured him he was safe. I made the call to let JD stay in school, unaware. I didn’t want to alarm my child. The doors were locked and an armed cop was in the lot. GF Carlo (also armed) was minutes away on a job.

Can’t believe this is my life. This is my baby’s life.

I texted his teacher. She sent me a picture of JD playing in the kitchen area. Seeing him hold a plastic loaf of bread, no doubt pretending it was a sword, cheered me up—and teared me up.

I continued my work. I had garment bags to pack and ship. I value my job. It supports my family and I was lucky to have my dad evaluate the situation at the location. Uncle Carlo also began an investigation.

An hour or so later another email came in from the school:

Dear Parents,
As you are aware from our previous communication, our School went on voluntary lockdown on Friday morning.  Although no specific threat was made to our school location, out of an abundance of caution, we went on lockdown to assure the safety of everyone.  Several of our neighboring schools were also placed on lockdown.

The police have located the individual who made the inappropriate tweet and his father; he has apologized and insists it was an inappropriate and insensitive joke.  The police department is actively investigating.  In addition, we have been in close contact with local authorities and they have been in our parking lot ever since and it is their recommendation that our voluntary lockdown be lifted. However our first front door will remain locked until the end of the day and we will be manually letting in all parents as a super extra measure of precaution.

***

After getting this email I sunk into a pile of clothes that were on the floor and began folding and organizing. The act alone eased my anxiety, but not my RAGE. The teenager who tweeted about the school franchise my child attends claims it was an “insensitive joke.”

NO.

It was not. No one sane jokes about hurting children age 6-weeks-old to 6-years-old. No one jokes about my baby, his friends and the staff. I hope this child’s parents’ seek him immediate psychiatric attention. This was not a joke. It was true, or it was a cry for attention. Something is wrong. Mental issues are real. We need to stop being ashamed to treat our kids, ourselves for their mental problems, because I assure you if your kid had Cancer, you’d seek the best care. This is NO different.

This teenager was brought into custody and charged with a third-degree crime; the case is now being handled in juvenile court. I hope he doesn’t get lost in the system. I hope he gets help.

As for me, I’m feeling OK, but not really. JD is going to school like normal. And so life goes.

Has your child’s school ever gone into lock-down? Please share.

Here is my Sandy Hook Elementary coverage for babble.com

Best Friend’s Letter To Sandy Hook Elementary Victim

Newtown, CT Parents Teach Us About Love, Loss … And Living 

Explaining the Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy  …

Follow me @JDSMOM2007 on twitter. Visit ChristineCoppa.net For more info on where to buy Rattled! click here.

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