Recently, I experienced a day when I felt genuine fear for one of my children.

That day, I logged on to Facebook around noon, scrolled through the news feed…and felt my heart skip when I saw a local news station posting that a school was on lockdown due to an unspecified threat, and had been since about 11:15 am. MY SON’S SCHOOL.

So many things ran through my mind simultaneously…

  • What was the ‘unspecified threat’? Was there a lunatic running through the halls of my son’s school with a gun? Was there a bomb planted in the school?
  • Why am I learning about this on FACEBOOK?? Why isn’t the school notifying parents about what’s happening?
  • Where is my son? Is he safe? Is he scared?

Without even thinking, I blasted a reply to the news site’s post: “It’s nice that I’m learning about this on a news site instead of being notified by my child’s school.”

I never do that. I often read news stories, but rarely do I ever comment on them. Eventually, I learned that many parents, not just me, received no notification from the school about what was happening…and all were equally upset about it. I knew nothing other than what random people were posting on Facebook. I was getting more and more scared by the minute, especially after I sent two texts to my son’s phone, praying that he had it with him that day, but not hearing from him.

It took everything in me not to get in my car and head straight for the school. But the rational side of me took over, and knew that many of the irate and panicking parents that I’d seen commenting on the news story had already done just that, and were simply sitting there outside locked gates, not getting any information.

Forty-five minutes later, my son finally replied: “It’s ok. No bomb I hope.” He told me they were still locked in their classrooms, and had been told not to move at all. Honestly, that made me feel worse, wondering if there was a shooter in the school. Around 1:15 pm, a text from my son said that he was seeing K9 units and police cars speeding around the school, and that he was really scared. I kept up a steady conversation with him after that…although I’m not sure if I was trying to make him feel better or if it was more for my peace of mind. At 1:45, he said the lockdown was over and he was on his way to eat (his very late) lunch.

He had been supposed to stay after school for track practice, but he called me from the school office and quietly told me that practice had been cancelled and he would be getting on the bus home. When he walked in the door, he immediately threw his arms around me and said, “Mama, this day was awful.”

I didn’t trust myself to say much without crying. I just held him close and said, “I know, baby.”


{linked up with Pour Your Heart Out}


  1. Shell says:

    That would freak me out!

    In this day and age(yeah, I know, I sound old), there are easy ways for the schools to send out this info. We get text alerts about closings or reminders to bring in the fundraiser- we should get one about a lockdown. I get it if this were 10+ years ago when they’d have to call everyone, but today, there is no excuse. I’d be fired up.
    Shell recently posted…Not Everyone Should Be a School VolunteerMy Profile

    • Stacey

      I think that is what everyone got upset about (after we knew our kids were safe!)…the fact that very few people actually got the notification emails the school supposedly sent out. I get emailed about everything else, but not this??

  2. JanetGoingCrazy

    I cannot believe they didn’t notify the parents in some way! I would have been scared out of my mind. Did you ever find out what the threat was? I get calls almost daily about something going on at the school with an afterschool program or TACE or whatever they need to tell me so it would have been easy to just send out a message saying “it’s okay”. How frustrating and scary!
    JanetGoingCrazy recently posted…Independent 6 year oldMy Profile

    • Stacey

      Some parents got email notifications, but the majority did not. It was frustrating because I get every other email AND phone call about fundraisers, sports, and event going on at the school. My son said that a “bomb threat” was written on a bathroom wall.

  3. brittney

    When I was interning at a local school we had a lock down. I asked why parents werent notified. Its for the childrens safety they dont want anyone in or out so they can locate the threat. Chaos is already taking place panicked parents would make it much more chaotic. As a parent I was torn I want to know when something is happening but as a teacher I can understand keeping things as calm as possible during chaotic times.
    brittney recently posted…Making hard decisionsMy Profile

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