I Went to Pick My Son Up at School and Found Police Cars
When we got home, I had a recorded message from the school, time-stamped 1:15 p.m., on my home phone, explaining that the school had received a phone call around noon from an unidentified caller saying that something spectacular was going to happen in the next five or 10 minutes near the school. No one knew what it meant, so to be safe they went on lockdown and called the police. Nothing happened, apparently, and they didn't have further information, so they lifted the lockdown and sent the kids home at the usual time.
I was bothered by not having any idea what had happened until it was over. Now I'm worried that being so out of the loop means that if something did happen, I wouldn't have a clue! I think I was just unlucky to be near the end of the automated phone call list, so I didn't get the call until after school let out, but this suggests to me that we need a faster way to get the message out. Perhaps classroom phone trees?
When I picked up my son today from school, another parent told me that they finally had the full story. It seems it was a parent who had called to tell the school that a blimp was going to fly overhead, and he thought the kids might like to see it. Unfortunately, he got cut off before he could finish, and his wording caused school officials to think it was a threat.
The mother who told me this gave me her phone number and said that if she ever hears anything, she'll be sure to call me. I thanked her. It's scary to be out of the loop like that. I often wonder why everyone seems to know about things but me, and it's not a position I want to be in anymore.
On the one hand, I'm pleased with the school officials' quick response to a perceived threat, and that the students were responsive and handled the lockdown with aplomb. My son's teacher said the kids were fantastic, followed directions, and knew what to do.
On the other hand, it's pretty terrifying to show up at your child's school and see it surrounded by police cars. Ignorance, in this case, was not bliss.