Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'd like to kick a couple of guys' asses, and there's probably about 5,000 other people who would help me. Yesterday two crazy druggies left a swath of destruction--okay, maybe that's a little strong; how about a swath of inconvenience?--through Oklahoma, with my town at the epicenter. Here's a link to the news story. For some reason it won't embed:


The drone of the circling search plane is still stuck in my head. I had a road block right outside my window for about four hours:

This was taken from my desk.

The kids' schools were all on lockdown, which meant the buses wouldn't run. I picked up Maggie with no problem, but at Abby's there was a total clusterfuck, and I don't use that word lightly. I ended up waiting for almost an hour, watching other people leave with their children. Some did, anyway; the rest of us stood in the 99% humidity and wondered.

Meanwhile, my son was still at school on the other side of town, and my husband was still on his way home from work. Thank God for cell phones. Finally, they caught the stupid fugitive (lemme at 'im!) and the decision was made to let the buses run. I found Abby in the school hall and took the girls home where the hubs had just arrived. He said when he passed Jonah's school there was a 2-block line of cars waiting to pick up their children--the van can't idle so he had to wait for the car--so rather than drive, I walked the mile to the school just to make sure the buses had made it there as well. It only took a few minutes to get there, but the place was almost deserted. I felt much better, because I knew Jonah had been put on the bus. And indeed, once I arrived home he was there waiting.

My irrational mother hormone wanted to keep the kids home today. I still have a headache.

The whole thing drove home what will happen if there is ever a real disaster. My three children, each at a different school (with apparently different tactics to handle lockdown), and a couple-thousand parents trying to retrieve their children all at once...It's anxiety-inducing. I hope the school leaders have learned something that will make the process easier in the future.

Stupid druggies.

{ 11 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Sounds awful. I remember the morning of 9/11. Drove the kids to school. Then conflicting messages- come pick them up. Don't pick them up. Ok, they will stay. No, oops, come get them. And that was just the school- with in-laws and other parents all chiming in. I voted for keeping them as school (familiar routine, panic solves nothing) but the school finally got word from the higher ups and so home they came. And that was in California! At least my kids were both at the same school. Now many schools here have all sorts of emergency notifications in place, a good thing in an urban area, not to mention earthquake territory. And college campuses, sad to say, are also well up these days on emergency procedures. Sigh.

  2. Yeah, I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that we have plans in place for these kinds of things. If they didn't happen, we wouldn't need plans.

  3. I'm glad to hear all of your children arrived home safely. If their schools didn't have a plan in place for this sort of thing before, they sure as hell will after their next staff meeting.

    The glut of kids shooting up schools happened 'round about when I was entering high school. I remember a lot of teacher-led conversations about the issue in various classes, especially after Barry Loukaitis held his algebra class hostage in Moses Lake, which was a little over an hour's drive away from my home town. The Columbine shootings happened right in the middle of my Current World Problems class my senior year, so yeah, the subject came up a LOT.

    The school did a pretty good job of handling the situation, I thought. That didn't make things any less uncomfortable on this one day when the fire alarm went off between classes a week or so after another school shooting (either Luke Woodham Mississippi or the two boys in Arkansas, I forget). I just remember me and another guy looking at each other (we were the only two in the room at the time), and we both knew automatically that we were thinking the same thing.

    "So, uh, you want to go walk out in the hall?"

    "You first."

    It made things interesting, I'll give it that. It also made a bunch of immature jackasses make a point of coming to school in trench coats, but I digress. These days I'm married and have two stepdaughters who go to school one town over from where Kip Kinkel went on his school rampage. I kind of wish things were a little less interesting now, you know?

  4. Wow. How scary. How sucky. How stupid. I hope the school district gets together to uniformly have something decided across ALL the schools soon. In the event of an actual emergency, this would be a genuine CF.

    I don't blame you on the headache and the tempted keep-home. Not at all.

  5. Well, Maggie's principal actually sent home a note thanking everyone for their patience, and that was the good school! She also said in the note that they are looking at ways to make the next time go more smoothly, thank goodness.

    The kids made it through today without a hiccup. Also, my headache is finally getting better. :)

  6. Wow! What a nightmare! In a way I can see why they didn't have a plan in place - how many crazy druggies have you had go through town recently, you know? At the same time, you do expect them to have at least a generic sort of "in case of emergency break glass" kind of procedure on hand.

    I am SO glad that everyone made home safely, that no one was hurt, and that nothing bad like breaking into a school and holding kids hostage thing happened. (Happened here, back in '88, woman named Lori Dann)

    And I am also glad the headache is gone. That must have been a big one!


    Glad things are back to normal.

  7. The lockdown has happened a few times before, but this is the first time it's lasted through the end of school. I'm not complaining about them making us all pick them up, because like you said, nobody wants a child to be held hostage.

  8. Sounds awful. I can't imagine the panic you must have felt as a mom. Like you wrote above, if these things didn't happen we wouldn't need emergency response plans. I really wish we didn't need them.

    I'm glad your family is safe and I too, hope your school leaders use today as a springboard to create a better system.

  9. Thanks, Suzanne. I think they've already started looking at it.

  10. [...] violent event which touched me, of course, was the subject of my previous post. The two men who locked down my entire town for most of a day blame their crime spree on drugs. One [...]

  11. [...] so anytime something happens in town the police set up a roadblock in front of my house. (Like this incident.) I’m thinking of investing in a police scanner, because it’s a bit disconcerting to have 11 cop [...]


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