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Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2007

Parents react to bomb scare

Children removed from Lawrence schools

April 19, 2007, 10:51 a.m. Updated April 19, 2007, 11:42 a.m.

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Reaction from parents

In two interviews, Debbie Galbraith and Christine Hauschel, parents of area school children, discuss their responses to the bomb threats. Enlarge video

Parents responded to this morning's bomb scare by removing their children from Lawrence schools - some critcizing school officials for not doing more to alert them to the situation.

At Schwegler School, several parents arrived before 10 a.m. to retrieve children.

"You never know," said Pam Montgomery, as she and her daughter, Amanda, a fifth-grader, prepared to leave.

"I was in the nurse's office and little kids said they were scared," Amanda said.

Her mother said she had heard through a friend about the threats.

"I'm going to go pick my son up at South (Junior High)," Pam Montgomery said. "We are just going to go home and hang out."

Jeff Felmlee was loading his fourth-grader and first-grader into his van.

"I decided, even though I don't think the threat is real here at Schwegler, that I had to pull my kids out for safety reasons," he said. "As we've seen across the nation, you can't really predict when a school is safe and when it's not."

Sonia Arb was picking up her son, Dalton Hurt, 8, a second-grader.

"My daughter called me, and they heard there was a bomb threat at the school, but they didn't say which one," Arb said.

"Where's the bomb going to be?" Dalton asked his mother.

"We don't know," she responded. "We're just being safe."

At Broken Arrow school, Pam Barker was volunteering at her son's second-grade class when she learned of the threat. She pulled her son and left.

"I just think I feel more comfortable taking him home," she said.

When Michelle Jaimez heard about the bomb threats to area schools, her first instinct was to go to West Junior High School to pick up her ninth-grade son.

"I fully expected when I got there to find all the doors locked and the security guard at the front entrance," Jaimez said.

But that wasn't what she encountered.

Jaimez said she saw two students in a photography class taking pictures of each other outside the building. When she went to the office, she said, the receptionist questioned why she would take her student out of school because the threat was not at a single school.

Jaimez said she would just be more comfortable with her son at home. When Jaimez talked to her son, he had no idea that anything was wrong.

At Hillcrest Elementary School late this morning, Michele Rogers was standing on the front walkway to get her son, Caelan, 8, a third-grader, and her daughter, Sophia, 6, a kindergarten student.

"It's probably nothing, but you don't want to take chances with your babies," Rogers said. "I think about those poor parents at Virginia Tech, and the fact that they sent their kids to school thinking it was safe."

Rogers said she was concerned about her son being a portable classroom at Hillcrest. She also planned to go Deerfield Elementary to get her nephews, ages 5 and 9.

Chris Bell, whose daughter, Kristen, is an eighth-grader at Southwest Junior High School, said students at the school were told they could not use their cell phones in class, but could go to the restroom to phone someone to come pick them up.

"What's the difference of calling in the class or calling in the restroom? Let them go home," Bell said. "The teachers were concerned enough to send them to the restroom."

Bell said all three of his children have been brought home from school. The other two were at Hillcrest Elementary School.

"As a parent I'm concerned about what's going on, but we can't give in to the fear of these type things," Bell said. "It tears you up inside as a parent."

"All of our schools are implementing their emergency procedure plans," Superintendent Randy Weseman said about 11:15 a.m. "The schools are secure. We are working with a centralized team in Douglas County and with the police."

Weseman said the police "are making progress on the issue," but he couldn't provide any specific information.

Told of complaints by some parents that schools have not done enough to inform parents this morning, Weseman said he has been relying on news media coverage.

"We have been trying to get information out as best as we can," Weseman said. "Some parents have picked up kids. But we are securing our situation to make sure kids are secure."

He said emergency personnel have been updating the news media this morning about every 10 minutes.

"We don't have the capability to make a phone call to every parent," Weseman said. "If we have positive identification and parents come in and sign their children out, that's fine. In some cases, that's pretty active. In other schools, there's not that much traffic with it."

He said parents have different opinions about what they should do.

"We're just following our plan and the Douglas County Emergency plan," he said. "The schools are secure. They're safe. There has not been an incident. We're working with the police and we're following the police's advice."

He said they decided not to cancel classes.

"There were two threats," he said. "It's not just specifically a bomb threat. That threat changed to where if you start releasing and put kids out, you actually could be playing in to luring them outside of the school. You have to make some judgments. . . . It wasn't that specific, but it talked about in some cases a shooting. And that could be outside of the school. We locked down our schools, we have secured them. We followed our plan. We've followed the suggestions of the police."

Comments

Tychoman 6 years, 12 months ago

Why bow to Marion? He's not even on this thread anymore.

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Pilgrim 6 years, 12 months ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on April 21, 2007 at 5:59 p.m.

Ignorance is bliss.


I bow to the expert on ignorance.

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Pilgrim 6 years, 12 months ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on April 20, 2007 at 9:50 p.m.

Sure. You keep telling yourself that.


Don't have to tell myself anything. I can see it right before my eyes in this thread.

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Tychoman 6 years, 12 months ago

Sure. You keep telling yourself that.

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Pilgrim 6 years, 12 months ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on April 20, 2007 at 7:10 p.m.

Vulcans have more logic and tact than you.


Putting the Vulcans and me light years ahead of you.

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Tychoman 6 years, 12 months ago

All right, Pilgrim you cocky so-and-so. You want me to answer your irrelevant question? Fine. I don't know if that ever has happened. But sometimes, just sometimes, a parent has the AUDACITY to think that there might be just one time where that actually happens. How dare they! It's their prerogative to take their children out of school and you're being nothing but belligerent and inconsiderate of current times and people's emotions.

Vulcans have more logic and tact than you.

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Pilgrim 6 years, 12 months ago

I see the answers to my questions are just pouring in.

Just as I suspected.

See what happens when reason and intellect question emotion? Emotion has no answer.

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Pilgrim 7 years ago

Posted by scenebooster (anonymous) on April 20, 2007 at 11:11 a.m.

Just a minute there, pilgrim - it's a post-9/11 world.

9/11 changed everything.

The terror alert is elevated.

We're in a struggle for our very existence. Terrorists hate our freedom, and our way of life (heard any of this before?).

So a bomb threat would have to be treated as a viable threat.


Thanks for proving my point. When was the last time a homicide bomber phoned in the time and location of their next and last effort?

Real bombers don't issue warnings, and those who issue threats have no bombs.

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scenebooster 7 years ago

Just a minute there, pilgrim - it's a post-9/11 world.

9/11 changed everything.

The terror alert is elevated.

We're in a struggle for our very existence. Terrorists hate our freedom, and our way of life (heard any of this before?).

So a bomb threat would have to be treated as a viable threat.

How many times has a mushroom cloud appeared over NYC? Yet, here we are, four years in Iraq....

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Pilgrim 7 years ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on April 19, 2007 at 10:10 p.m.

You haven't shown any reason or intellect thus far in this thread, Pilgrim.


OK, omniscient one, answer my questions: When was the last time there was a bomb threat and then a bomb actually went off? Anywhere? When was the last time there was a bomb threat and then a bomb was actually found? Anywhere?

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asbarkincat 7 years ago

From what I have heard this started at 5 am. Plenty of time for the school districts to cancel school for the day. Why wasnt it done?

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Tychoman 7 years ago

You haven't shown any reason or intellect thus far in this thread, Pilgrim.

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dinolove101 7 years ago

alright...there was something i was once taught in grade school...."if you dont have something nice to say. dont say it at all." keep your mean oppions that have nothing to do with this situation to yourself. and stop judging parents. they do what they feel is right for their kids, and what is comfortable for them. each parent has a different way of teaching their kids. stop giving advice on how other parents lead their kids. if you dont like it then dont do it yourself

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Pilgrim 7 years ago

I do not apologize, nor do I have to explain, responding with reason and intellect instead of emotion. I understand why some parents pulled the plug and jerked their kids out of school. I just believe they were misguided. If being empathetic and compassionate means I have to travel down the same emotional road, I'll pass, thank you.

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Tychoman 7 years ago

Your capacity for compassion and empathy is overwhelming, Pilgrim. If you have kids, I am genuinely sorry for them.

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Pilgrim 7 years ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on April 19, 2007 at 6:58 p.m.

Pilgrim, let it go and shut up FOR ONCE.


Hey, tyke, do you have kids? If not, you're the one who needs to shut up. If you do, I'm sorry for their loss.

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Tychoman 7 years ago

Pilgrim, let it go and shut up FOR ONCE.

Marion, trying to turn this into a political issue (like you always do) does nothing more than make you look like a belligerent idiot.

It's a parent's prerogative to take their children out of school any other day of the week, why is everyone so quick to criticize when there's a valid motive to do it?

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bastmoon 7 years ago

I pulled my daughter out of school today once I had found out about the threats. I'm not saying it was the best decision for anybody but it was the best decision for me and my daughter. I don't want my daughter to feel scared to go to school yet, I want her to know I'm concern for her safety. I'd rather take that chance of her being scared for that moment. I have no problem with that. I'd rather have that than to take the chance of losing her forever. At the end of the day, she feels secure knowing i'll always be there for her and I know she is safe with me at home.

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mom_of_girls 7 years ago

I am not concerned about the parents that take their kids out of school when i choose to leave mine in... I would never want to have to make that decision for another parent, we all have different comfort levels. My point was that I was dissapointed in the ability to have contact with my girls to make sure that they knew they were safe and that I care about them... That was all. No need to get all defensive and think that I am judging any of your choices. I don't care what you choose, I care about my kids and them knowing that I love them and they can count on me to be there when they truly need me.

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mom_of_three 7 years ago

Pilgrim, If parents chose to pull their students out of school this week, it's not teaching the kids to be afraid of their own shadows. This, of all weeks, people should be more understanding of each other. I didn't pick my kids up from school, because I had contact with them, and they chose to stay. BUT I WOULD have in a heartbeat, if they asked me. It's about making them feel safe.
It's a personal parental choice, and I don't think anyone made a bad one today.

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Pilgrim 7 years ago

Posted by onesmartpuppy (anonymous) on April 19, 2007 at 11:37 a.m.

9 out of 10 times, a disturbed individual will not annouce there intent of bombing - they would just do it. But, there is just that 1% that scares you as a parent.


The odds are even less than that. (BTW, your math would leave you with a 10% chance.) When was the last time there was a bomb threat and then a bomb actually went off? Anywhere?

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Pilgrim 7 years ago

Posted by magnus (anonymous) on April 19, 2007 at 11:31 a.m.

I understand the notion that we are empowering others to make other false bomb threats in the future, but I don't want to take the chance.


It's not a notion, it's a fact. Every parent that jerked their kid(s) out of school gave the caller all the power anyone will ever need to completely disrupt the school system or any other organized activity. And you're going to teach your kids to be afraid of their own shadows.

Good job. (Sarcasm)

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Windlass 7 years ago

And maybe even somebody might have hit and run over the gunman on their way to get their kid.

Not that I wish it. I do not, but it could have been a likely scenario.

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micbull 7 years ago

Every parent has the right to their choices in life. Despite how others may have handled the situation today, It doesn't mean that parent do not care about their children if they leave them at school and it doesn't mean that your going to have the "fear" put into children for picking them up. It's just personnal prefence. I chose to pick up my daughter and not send my daughter to kindergarten this afternoon. This day and age you can't be sure about anything. I think it just hit's a little to close to home for comfort. I did not want to make a 2 second decision that would impact the rest of my life. That's why we live in America, we have rights and we have choices. Each individual is diffrent for a reason. That's what makes this world an interesting place. Parent's don't need to harmmer each other about choices made. It's not our place to judge one another. Everyone reacts diffrently. I chose to keep my daughter's home. We all have one goal as parent's and that's to raise our children the best we can. They are our future.

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Windlass 7 years ago

Hopeless though it is to imagine now, but what might have been the more likely outcome if the parents of the Virginia Tech kids had known there was a gunman at large? I just bet that the massive rush of parents to that campus would have saved SO MUCH of that world.

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hockmano 7 years ago

At my son's junior high , he told me that students were not allowed to call their parents even if they were truly scared for their safety. He has a cell phone so he could have called me if he was truly scared. I opted to pick him up simply because that is my right as a parent. But if he would have been denied the right to call me some heads would have rolled.........

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sarahsue 7 years ago

This seems to be really getting out of hand. I don't think as parents we have to justify the decisions that we make for our children. What we feel is right for our children is right for our family. Were talking about a highly sensitive situation that we don't encounter everyday. I took my kids out today. Other parents didn't. I don't judge them. But keeping my kids at school wasn't the right decision for me or my husband. We felt that they were safer at home today.

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Ricci Moyer 7 years ago

Wht made me angry was the fact that I just learned about this at 2:15 this afternoon. I have no radio or television at my work. I learned about this from a friend of mine. It would have been nice to get a call from SOMEONE. I don't care who it was that called me just to let me know about the situation. I would have pulled my daughter out of school so fast her head would spin from it.

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kabs 7 years ago

I don't think that it's necessary to criticize one another in this situation. Both sides have valid points and ultimately, it's the parents' decision and their right to handle it as they see fit. Just as everyone parents differently, every child reacts differently and it's at that family's discretion as to how they manage life events. I believe that the point of the discussion should not be whether or not a parent chose to pull their child/children out of school today, but whether or not the situation was handled in an expedient and efficient manner by both the authorities and the school districts.
WHile many people feel that the calls made today were nothing more than a hoax that didn't warrant the response that they received, there were those that (as many above have stated) picked up their children "just in case". I was one of those who felt more comfortable having my child with me. I realize it is a pattern that whenever a major tragedy such as the recent Virginia Tech shootings occurs, it acts as a catalyst for those that may be unstable, yet harmless, to make foolish calls that are ultimately nothing of consequence. However, there are those such as Cho Seung-Hui who might have been stopped at a lower level of instablity had someone heeded the warnings more closely. I don't fault the parents that chose to pick up their children today just as I don't fault the parents who felt that their children were better off at school. Perhaps we should put our energy into maximizing our alert/notification infrastructure rather than into critiquing one another's parenting styles.

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Currahee 7 years ago

I am a student attending LFSHS. The bomb threat came as a complete surprise to me- I didn't even know about it until about 10:00AM when an announcement was made that no suspicious evidence was not found in the building. Despite this, most kids were leaving the school and by the end of the day, some classes only had less than half the usual students left. Me, along with some of my peers very well know the dangers of a bomb but we also did say to ourselves of how real this threat might be. Time has shown us that school shootings are more likely than bombings. Yes, this threat comes at a time during the VT massacre but let's be real now. A bomb? Some students even took advantage of the situation or at least tried to go home early. I place my trust under the school's administration. If the bomb threat was really that serious- then there would have been no school today or all of us students would have been evacuated but that was not the situation. Of course- don't get me wrong. I am glad that there wasn't a bomb incident here.

As for communications and notifications- I think this was all unexpected for us. Most of us only check USD497.org only if there was a lot of snow on the ground. So please be understandable and mindful of the situation.

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Dayna Lee 7 years ago

ladysilk- I hope that you do get to have that talk with your kids tonite. I don't understand why people that get to make an informed decision, because they know someone or have a job that allows them to know something, think they are in any place to judge those of us that are home anyway and hear that the school may not be safe. The fact that there was a cop outside this morning told me that. I did not want to spend the day scared. And everyone that knows the details of the incident doesn't think they are important enough to tell people like little ole me. So that's great- you do what you gotta do and I'll do what I gotta do.

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dinolove101 7 years ago

i understand why people are saying that it isnt a very good idea that people are pulling their kids out and trying to not make them fear going out and going to school. but i also think that parents have a right to pull their kids out to make them feel safer. i go to lhs and most of the kids at our school were really paranoid and scared. i mean v. tech happened this week and it started with bomb threats. i asked my dad to take me out because i did not feel comfortable being at school when there were more than two "attacks" that may have taken place. if you watch the news there have been many attacks in many states. i was just watching and a kid had been threatening many students so the police followed him and so he shot himself. i know this world is not perfect. but i would rather be safer than not seeing the next day.

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toughangel41 7 years ago

Yes I understand I guess I am just a bit sensitive No worries Speed Racer

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Marion Lynn 7 years ago

I find it amusing that taking precautions against a potential threat is now percieved and defined as "living in fear".

You should all take out your smoke detectors, get rid of your home burglar alarms and one of you should wear seat belts.

"Living in fear" my Heinie A++!

Thanks.

Marion.

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ladysilk 7 years ago

smot...I agree with your post. I work in a field that allows me to know more about these emergency situations than most parents. I did not take my children out of school today. I did not worry about their safety but I did worry about what they would think because I left them in school when other kids were being removed. I plan to have a discussion with them tonight and explain why I made the decision to do what I did. I think it is sad that so many people live their lives in fear now and their actions are dictated by the intimidation of others.

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Dayna Lee 7 years ago

Dear kansasnative (anonymous)- "I would like to applaud Prairie Park Elementary for the way they have handled this. David Williams and his staff are to be commended!" Not that they are not great people, but what did they do? I pulled my kid at 9 something this morning and they did not even have anyone at the door. It wasn't until we all started pulling our kids that I think they realized it was a real issue. I still don't understand why we were not told by the two people standing outside the school this morning!

Also, I've decided that everytime I see a police car near that school, I'm just going to ask them why they are there! It's never good.

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drapkristina 7 years ago

I am a parent in Eudora school district. We have an automated notification system here that calls home phones and cells. Today it was used to notify us. It worked great I recieved a calll at home and my husband did on his cell. Why can't Lawrence have this same system. It is all computerized.

.

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mom_of_girls 7 years ago

As a parent I am comfortable with the steps that were taken to ensure the students safety today after I finally tracked down that information on my own. I was more concerned of the feelings of my children though. Reality to me as an adult can be very different than the view of a 7 and 9 year old. They need to know and feel that they are safe. If other parents are taking kids out of school left and right and mine are still there, they need to know that it is not because I don't love them or care about their safety. Do I start sending a cell phone to school with them so that I can talk to them since it seems to be too much to allow me to talk to them when I call the school?

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kansasnative 7 years ago

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Columbine also. I am sure there will be more incidents tomorrow. This just isn't, historically, a good week. Between Waco, OKC, Columbine and now VT all happening during the same week (separate years obviously) - it's almost too much to fathom.

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Darth_Vader 7 years ago

Posted by LHSchick (anonymous) on April 19, 2007 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

im a student at LHS and i left school today not because i felt treatend but because i dident think that staying in an enviorment where all the kids in class were freaking out.

You probably should have stayed for spelling class.

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SpeedRacer 7 years ago

toughangel41, this was not a reflection on anyone's reaction to the threat. I also do not deal with it lightly. Today is the anniversary of Waco and OKC and has annually been a day in which the "crazies" come out and many threats are made. I have nothing but the greatest sympathy and sadness for those who were affected by the incident in VA.

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toughangel41 7 years ago

I wouldn't call it "National Crazy Day" Those of us with family members in Va. do not look at it that way and it is rather painful to think someone would even say such a thing, we are not crazy just love our family and will protect them if and when necessary. Please be kind for the people in pain at this time.

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Steve Jacob 7 years ago

"National Crazy Day"

I like that. But next year, April 19 is on a saturday, does that count?

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LHSchick 7 years ago

im a student at LHS and i left school today not because i felt treatend but because i dident think that staying in an enviorment where all the kids in class were freaking out and making up all kinds of rumors to scare people would further my education, i was scared because something could happen, my parents let me leave because they also felt that they would rather have me at home than in a dangerous situation and i think that the choice is the students if their old enough to understand the situation and critisizing another parent for taking or not taking their kids out of school is childish its one parents view of the situation opposed to a nother parents, everyone should be supporting eachother in a time of worry not judging eachother!!!!

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NDNJAYHAWKER 7 years ago

Even the daycares are on lock-down. They won't even let the kids play outside, the front doors are locked and everything else that has a handle. I even pulled my daughter out of daycare!

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smot 7 years ago

a_new_voice:

Of course we should not serve alcohol or drugs to our children; however, we should talk to our children about the eventual exposure that they will have to these dangers. The children will let you know when they feel ready to discuss the topics.

Teaching my oldest child to drive was probably the most frightening thing that I have ever done. We discussed about her responsibilities and I tried to help her gain confidence in driving (in between stifled screams). I still worry about her driving but it is something that I just have to accept.

I cannot imagine what the children thought who remained in school today or thought about their parents or the threat to their safety by remaining when their friends were pulled out. Don't we as parents in Lawrence have an obligation to all the children of our community?...When you run to school and pull your child out without recommendation from the district, you are affecting all the children in that school, not just your child.

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Kathy Gates 7 years ago

Anyone have any info on what's going on at the various elementary schools?

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toughangel41 7 years ago

It's just too scary. I have so many nieces and nephews in Lawrence school and even if it is some stupid person playing a prank or trying to scare people we should be safe. I think with all the bomb threats, killings and other violence and one happening just the other day I would rather be safe. I mean who knows... the killings Monday could have triggered any mentally ill person to go ahead with a plan they may have been putting together for some time. YES even in good ol' Lawrence

Be Safe..Not sorry

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kansasnative 7 years ago

I would like to applaud Prairie Park Elementary for the way they have handled this. David Williams and his staff are to be commended!

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NDNJAYHAWKER 7 years ago

Pick up your kid or leave them, that is your prerogative. My instinct and gut was telling me to go and pick them up and let them feel safe at home. My nephew at Schwegler had no idea what was going on.
I feel the school district is doing the best they can to protect our children. Scary situation that is happening to our great community but I feel the Mr. Weseman and our Crisis crew are doing a good job. For updating information go to 105.9 and they are telling people what is happening.

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sarahsue 7 years ago

I took both my children out and we live in Eudora. I agree that it's probably just a hoax but why take the chance. My children are my life and I just couldn't live with myself if anything happened. Why risk it. I am very concerned about the lack of coverage. The main local channels weren't saying anything. I media coverage was poor on this incident if you ask me. Not everyone watched channel 6 or listens to the Lazer.

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monkeywrench1969 7 years ago

The other thing to think about is the panic which is created by the rumor mill and the constant media blitz feeds these bad guys egos.

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monkeywrench1969 7 years ago

I would like to add to smots comment about Israeli schools. They did have a serious attack on one of their schools years ago and they said never again. The schools in Israel are built like Fort Knox with armed security and barriers. They have never had a similar situation again.

If you look at history, bad guys take the path of least resistance. They rarely pick a fit able target they look for vulnerability and opportunity. If a community works together and the bad guys know someone will turn them in if they are in the lurking/planning phase they tend to move on to an easier target.

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SpeedRacer 7 years ago

My child is studying germs and bacteria this week in third grade. When I pick him up today, I suspect that I will get more of an earful from what his teacher has told him about the threat of germs than from the "non-specific" bomb threat (after one health class, he wouldn't eat anything with sugar for weeks). Frankly, I forgot that this is National Crazy Day and should have been prepared.

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Marion Lynn 7 years ago

Get a real kick out of Magnus' post, I do!

Magnus wrote:

"Posted by magnus (anonymous) on April 19, 2007 at 11:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

My wife and I decided not to take our son to afternoon kindergarten at Deerfield in light of the circumstances. I understand the notion that we are empowering others to make other false bomb threats in the future, but I don't want to take the chance. I can't imagine the guilt I would feel if something were to happen to my child because of my lack of action.

I also realize that this decisions was easier for us to make since our child is only in afternoon kindergarten, so missing 3 hours won't be an educational setback for him; and my wife is currently a stay-at-home mom with a new baby so having him at home this afternoon is not an issue.

In the end, parents need to make that decision on their own. Not based on what some of the local bloggers have to say.............like Marion!"

Marion writes:

Magnus dies not send it's kid to school and then tries to insult me for writing that others should pick up their kids from school!

WOO HOO!

Kinda like Rosie O and the gun thing.

Rosie doesn't think that people should have guns but Rosie O has her own armed bodyguards.

Smells like liberal hypocrisy to me!

Thanks.

Marion.

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a_new_voice 7 years ago

SJH...great comment. By 11:00 my daughter had heard all sorts of rumors. Who knows what is true? The level of panic is rising. Schools need to control this. Our children, especially in the older grades, need to be taught how to deal with this.

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a_new_voice 7 years ago

I understand what you're saying, but answer this. Alcohol has many dangers. Should we start serving our children so that they toughen up to the world? What about drugs? Driving? It is the role of the parent to care for their children. We protect them each and every day from a variety of threats. We teach them along the way to deal with these. That is all that any of these people are doing. It is incredibly sad that children today have to learn about this.

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SJHCougar42 7 years ago

I Actually think that it's up to the student (if they heard about it). If they really were scared, and they called you to tell you so, don't you think you should listen to them? Im not trying to make anyones decisions for them. I do agree that the parents can make the decision, but if the child comes to them asking them to bring them home, I know i would.

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smot 7 years ago

My comments are not meant to be critical; they are just a comment on behaviors that appear unwarranted.

We have been deluded into believing that our worlds should be without risk. This is not possible. Removing out children from all perceived risks tells them that they should be fearful of their day to day lives/ surroundings. This does not appear to be good for mental wellness. Anxiety is a real threat to our children and society as a whole. We must as parents discuss with our children where the risks exist and help them cope with the potential dangers of our world.

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SJHCougar42 7 years ago

I'm a student at south junior high and the security there was much better than the other junior highs. At least, i think so. We were not allowed outside the classroom during class periods and not allowed outside at all without an escort. i also believe that kids (at least junior high up) have a right to know whats going on. They need to be prepared, and not just kept in the dark. Students at our school were also allowed to call their parents in class if they were truly frightened, and not just trying to get out of class.

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I_Bejewel 7 years ago

First, I respect every parents' decision to do what they feel best for themselves and their children. I decided for myself that it was best to leave my child at school. I don't feel there was any more danger in his being there today than any other day. To the parents who did pick up there kids or kept them home, I ask, "are you going to feel any less afraid sending them to school tomorrow? Are they going to be less afraid? What if there's another bomb threat? Will you keep them home again?"

Personally, I refuse to live in fear or instill fear into my child. I don't love my son any less than the parents who made a different decision, but I feel that short of home-schooling and never letting him step foot out the door, I can't protect him from all unknown, real or imagined dangers in our society today. I would make myself crazy if I thought I could.

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a_new_voice 7 years ago

It used to be the 3 R's, now it's the 3 B's--bullies, bullets, and bombs. How sad!

Also, smot, I don't live in Israel or the Middle East. I choose to protect my children from any threat they encounter as I see fit.

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Tamaralaug 7 years ago

Hopefully most of us that picked up our children today know better than to yell and scream and freak out in front of our children and other's children. I simply explained to my daughter when we got in the car what was going on and that I would feel better if she spent the day with Grandma. I did not scare her or freak her out. She was just fine. So has long as parents handle the situation correctly, there should not be a problem with taking your child out of school if you feel it is necessary. And no one should criticize anyone else for their decision.

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KansasKel 7 years ago

I think something that needs to be considered is that when incidents have occurred, there was no warning. If someone is going to do something terrible, they're probably more likely to just DO IT than to spend time making vague threats to a 911 operator.

It's pretty sad that we live in a society where our children can't be safe at school.

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jeanbean 7 years ago

I agree that parents should pick up their children if this is what they feel is necessary and safe. Everyone must do what they think is best for their family. That being said, everyone should also keep in mind that the level at which you panic will directly affect the level at which your children are fearful and anxious. The parent who walked into her child's school yelling and freaking out has just caused more fright for the kids around her.

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leslie 7 years ago

Parents will act as they see appropriate. Please stop sniping at each other.

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smot 7 years ago

The reaction to this perceived threat is interesting.

Israel and much of the middle east has dealt with much greater threats to their children and have somehow managed not to shut down their schools and markets every time that there is a rumor. I am talking of cars driving up to school buses and exploding.

Americans are so confused about the real threats to their health and livelihoods. Our children are at much higher risk in cars or on playgrounds than they are in the Lawrence schools today. The world is a dangerous place....it always has been. Scaring the crap out of your children every time that someone calls with a threat is not a reasonable way of parenting. The fear engendered by your panic is likely more harmful to your child's psche than leaving them in the perceived harm's way.

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Tamaralaug 7 years ago

I went and picked up my child as well. My head tells me that it is just a hoax and that nothing will happen but my heart told me to go and get her. I think that is every parent's choice and neither choice is wrong or right. I was probably more spooked about it then I normally would be because of the incident at VTech.
But I do want to mention that I did not see a single cop at my daughter's school which concerned me. And I work next to City Hall (which was also included in the bomb threats) and I saw only one guy briefly checking under cars with a mirror in our parking lot - but he check so quickly that if there was a bomb under a car he never would have seen it. After all is said and done, I am glad that I picked her up. She is spending a relaxing day with Grandma and my mind is at ease!

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GSWtotheheart 7 years ago

thanks for the affirmation windlass

I may read all the comments on here but I still think for myself and I thought I wanted to go get my kid for my peace of mind and hers

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onesmartpuppy 7 years ago

I have a Lawrence High student and I took her out of school for safety reasons. Many parents were there to pick up there children as well as myself for "Safety concerns" I understand totally that nothing might happen, but multiple parents and I agreed that we needed to be safe than sorry. 9 out of 10 times, a disturbed individual will not annouce there intent of bombing - they would just do it. But, there is just that 1% that scares you as a parent.

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Maxandwillie 7 years ago

I am going to send my kid to afternoon kindergarten. I think the schools are safer today because of this threat then they would be on a normal basis because school officials are more diligent in looking for things.

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Paul Geisler 7 years ago

My wife and I decided not to take our son to afternoon kindergarten at Deerfield in light of the circumstances. I understand the notion that we are empowering others to make other false bomb threats in the future, but I don't want to take the chance. I can't imagine the guilt I would feel if something were to happen to my child because of my lack of action.

I also realize that this decisions was easier for us to make since our child is only in afternoon kindergarten, so missing 3 hours won't be an educational setback for him; and my wife is currently a stay-at-home mom with a new baby so having him at home this afternoon is not an issue.

In the end, parents need to make that decision on their own. Not based on what some of the local bloggers have to say.............like Marion!

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Windlass 7 years ago

I don't think anyone should question why a parent picks up their kids (as in the article above)

A very, very sensible reply.

What a shame it is to live in the kind of world where this egregious menacing goes on and on and on.

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GSWtotheheart 7 years ago

went and picked up my central student "just in case"

I don't think anyone should question why a parent picks up their kids (as in the article above)

it's our choice as parents

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Dambudzo 7 years ago

Tele tubby mentality is at work here.

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mom_of_three 7 years ago

My high school student emailed me and she is fine, not alarmed although rumors are flying. My junior high student, one of them anyway, called and is "starting to freak out". The kids are not sure how to react, but there are kids leaving school, and some after school events have been cancelled.
I feel the same as alm77, but my kids aren't going to learn anything today if they are scared. But my kids are old enough to understand the severity and make a decision about how they feel. And one wants to come home.

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booze_buds_03 7 years ago

I think another aspect needs to be realized here. That by picking up your kids you are probably increasing the chance of a premature death by car accident. There are 40,000 deaths in automobile accidents per year, While the number for school shootings is generally much less than 50 on average. So by my calculations you are 800 times more likely to die in a car accident in a year. Ill take my chances and stay in school.

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alm77 7 years ago

I was on my way in to take care of some school fees when my husband called and said the school was on lock-down. So I went anyway. The principal was at the door greeting parents who were in line to take their kids home. I went in, paid my fees, and checked in on my kids who were busy in their classrooms. I'm confident they are in good hands. And I reassured them that they were fine. They were unaware of the threat and I didn't tell them about it.

While I was there, a ranting parent came in and yelled at the principal for not calling every single parent to come and get their kids.

I don't want my kids to be afraid to go to school and I think that taking them out today may have made them feel unsafe tomorrow and the following days. I don't want them to live in fear because some moron made a stupid phone call for attention.

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