In light of today’s security threat, I just wanted to post some information that may help everyone keep this situation in perspective. JCPS has 5 Security Levels. They normally operate at a Level 2. Today’s threat has elevated all schools in the district to a Level 3, just one level above normal.
We heard from one bus driver this morning that her first bus was relatively full. However, she said some parents who had sent their children to school on the bus, were at school when she arrived and took them off the bus. “I had most [of the regular bus riders] on my bus this morning. A few parents chickened out and showed up at the school before I got there and got their kids off the bus.” She also told us other buses were not very full. She said, “Most buses that normally have 50 and 60 kids on it only had 4.” After she returned from her elementary school route, she said, “You would not believe how many elementary school buses had 0 students! Mine included.” She blames not only those who made the threat, but also those who posted and perpetuated the sharing of rumors. “I hope they catch who made the threat. And people need to quit posting rumors. I was taking all that seriously.”
A father who sent his daughter to school said, “The whole thing felt like a ‘there is nothing to this, but we have to CYA’ to me.” Others were more critical and accused those who kept their children home as overreacting.
Another parent responded to those allegations asking, “Just a question for the people who say that parents are overreacting. Why do you care what people do with their children? No one is on this post accusing you of not caring for your children and putting them in harms way! No one is condemning you at all. So if someone kept their child home what did it take away from you? What would you be saying if something horrible happened! Would you expect those who kept their child home to say I told you so? We have a responsibility to raise our children and take care of them how we see fit. It’s no ones business. Gambling is not something I do. So I won’t start with my children!”
A teacher, who also has kids in the district, said, “I have very low attendance in my classes today. I also kept my own child home today. I’ve shown up to teach three times this year with threats against my building, so I am not one to be irrational and dramatic. However, I don’t feel we have been provided with enough information to make an informed decision. They always know more than tell us. Out of ‘an abundance of caution,’ I am choosing to keep my child safe.”
Another concerned parent messaged us to say, “[Dr.] Hargens says she is disappointed in today’s attendance rates. If our school were transparent about what’s been going on I would have more trust in them. Our middle school has been on [some kind of high level alert] for two days, with no note sent home. We are hearing rumors of gang activity, so with no verification or refutation from the school, how are we to interpret a ‘vague threat?'”
This father echoed that sentiment when he said, “I will be honest about my decision to keep the kids [home] was based not on the vague threat as much as it was I just don’t trust the administration and how they react to situations.” Chime in on Facebook and tell us your thoughts.