What if the threat is real?

Yesterday afternoon I was chillin’ at my desk at work, calmly reading through some blogs and patiently waiting for the time I could bust out of the office with all the glee of a man just freed from prison. Then my phone rang and turned my entire day on its head and set it spinning.

“Thank you for calling end-user supp…”

“This is [name redacted] from [name redacted] High School,” a male voice cut me off. Well, that was rude, I thought.

“I regret that I have to tell you about this unfortunate situation…” he began. Oh, great. What did the twins do now? Has one of them been hurt? Did they get in a fight? Did they break the rules? Are they expelled? My mind was a hurricane of irrational worries twirling at category 5 speeds…just from that ominous opening.

“…but we must inform you that we have received a bomb threat at [name redacted] High School. The person making the call threatened to detonate a bomb in the girl’s bathroom…” The man on the phone, which I finally realized was a recording and not a live person, continued to say that the school had been searched and nothing had been found. He added that additional police presence would be on hand for security purposes tomorrow (which is today as I write this). He beseeched us to send our children to school tomorrow and referred to the incident as a stupid prank, which it most likely is.

My newly acquired powers of anxiety took hold at that point. My chest tightened. My heart, were it not for my rib cage, would have burst from my chest and run away screaming. My mind began spiraling out of control. I was completely overwhelmed by emotion, nearly to the point of tears. I hear about these things on the news. I read about them online. It never in a million years occurred to me that it would happen here. Not in a wealthy community which averages about 1 homicide per year. Not in a community who’s biggest worry is the extra traffic another frickin’ Wal-Mart would bring. Of course, the people of Newtown, Connecticut thought these same things, I’d wager.

Logic has no place in an anxious mind. I’ve been in buildings when bomb threats have been called in. I’ve been evacuated while bomb units and their trusty canines searched for explosive devices. I know that if you’re planning to blow some shit up, you’re just going to do it and you won’t call ahead of time to let anyone know you’re going to do it. I know that depraved people will call in false threats simply because they let the devil play with their idle hands. I know this was probably called in by some student who was trying to avoid something the school had planned for today. I know this.

But there were voices echoing throughout my skull. “What if?” they whispered.  “What if you’re wrong? What if someone does manage to get an explosive device into the school and detonate it? Are the police going to search every student before they enter the school tomorrow? Is that something you want your children subjected to? Are you really willing to gamble your children’s lives in these days of Sandy Hook, Elliot Rodger, and other mass murders?”

I was on the verge of losing control again. I couldn’t focus. I felt insane. I left my desk and walked a couple of laps around the warehouse in which I work, and ran up and down a few flights of stairs. A half an hour later, with blood pumping and breath heavy, I returned to my desk with a (mostly) clear head. And sweaty armpits. I was still undecided as to whether or not I would send the twins to school tomorrow.

I tried calling their mother for her opinion, but my call went to her voicemail.

inhumanityLater in the day I was roaming the aisles of Wal-Mart, waiting for a prescription to be filled. As I mindlessly meandered, my thoughts wandered with me. About humanity. About evil. About why humans are so cruel to each other. About selfishness and our disregard for follow humans. It’s saddening that humanity is so damnable that a likely idle threat like this has rendered me paralyzed, jittering in fear for my children’s safety. We humans like to pretend we’re an advanced species, but if you really look at overall human behavior we’re no better than any other animal on this planet. We’re violent, jealous, lustful, selfish, and hysterically impulsive.

The ringing of my phone interrupted my reverie. It was the twins’ mother. We discussed the bomb threat and ultimately agreed that the boys would stay home from school today. There had been rumblings, she said, on Facebook of some kind of drama involving drugs at the high school and the bomb threat was likely a result of that. There may not be a bomb, but that doesn’t mean some other shit won’t go down in the aftermath of whatever drama the school had experienced.

So the twins are home today. They are home, basically, because I’ve lost faith in humanity. While I believe that this bomb threat is a hoax, I’m so completely disillusioned by today’s society that I can’t find it in my heart to bet my children’s lives on it. While I’d like to stand up and declare that my life, or the lives of my children, won’t be dictated by threats of terror, I just can’t. I just can’t roll the dice on this. And that’s the saddest part of all.

 

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About Twindaddy (328 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

51 Comments on What if the threat is real?

  1. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this sort of thing TD. When the tube bombs in London were detonated my little sister was on the tube behind one of those that got blown up… It was so scary, particularly because we couldn’t get through for ages on the phone to check she was ok. Now I take all of these threats seriously – I think the ‘what if’ question is always there for me…

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  2. That’s terrifying. And no, not worth betting their lives. I hope things settle down soon, and they work hard at the school to regain your confidence.

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  3. (hugs) I would be panicking and full of axiety as well…. and no ways would I send my kid to school. We don’t gamble with their life. I don’t know what I can say to you, but in all honesty this post was right on the money, especially in America today. You switch on the news and hear of these things….. and you can’t believe your eyes that this kind of thing happens all the time, more and more.

    You need to know your kid is safe, while at school. If you don’t have that feeling then don’t send them. The axiety would eat me …..

    (hugs) 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such fucking nonsense. Makes me so angry. Why can’t people just not be assholes?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “They are home, basically, because I’ve lost faith in humanity. ” – This is why when someone asks why we can’t raise our children the way our grandparents were raised, I look at them like they are insane. Humanity sucks. I would have kept them home, too. I’m so sorry this happened.

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  6. When I was in seventh grade there was a bomb threat at my school… Cops checked all three of the bathrooms (it was a very small school) and found nothing, so it was speculated as a rumor. My dad still took my brother and I to school that day because he said we shouldn’t live in fear (although about 60% of my class skipped that day). Thankfully, nothing happened, and the girl who started the rumor was sent to… somewhere. I don’t remember where, I just remember she wasn’t at school for a bit.

    Hopefully everything settles down soon for you. People can be assholes, and your concern certainly is warranted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Almost 20 years ago my work place had a bomb threat. They evacuated the place and had a bomb squad come in. They found nothing. We were told if we didn’t feel comfortable going back inside they wouldn’t hold it against us if we went home. I went back in.

      Were that to happen today, I would probably go home.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a terrible situation to be in. I can only imagine how you felt. glad the twins stayed at home. I would have done the same thing. Sorry to say but there are times that I am ashamed to be called a human being when I see what we do to each other, our children, our family, animals and the planet.

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  8. Did you direct the school admins to the facebook drama so they’d have more information?

    Glad your kids are ok!

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  9. This made me cry, especially the last paragraph. I probably would’ve kept mine home too. So, so scary.

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  10. The ‘if’ gets you every time.

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  11. Ten years ago, I would have sent my son in; now? No way. There are more crazy people out there doing nasty things to random folks.

    Part of it is the fact that the media hypes this up. The 24 news cycle gives every asshole their 15 minutes. And if it’s for bombing a school, well, it’s still their 15 minutes.

    It really sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We had several of threats last year at the High School. Once kid posted on FB that he was bringing a gun to school and so they closed school on that day. I was glad that they decided to close school and didn’t leave it up to us to have to decide wether to send our kids or not. Like you, I would have kept my daughter home. You really can’t trust anything these days and that is tragic! What a horrible way for us to have to live.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Don’t see how people think blowing things up solves anything. Unless, of course, they’re just going for destruction.

    Have a cookie. Maybe one day humanity will pretend to be ants instead of black widows.

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  14. I would say that this was an overreaction, because the fact that the police swept the school fo bombs meands that it’s still probabbly less likely to actually have a bomb than any given school where no bomb threat was called. However, this is a minor overreaction compare to the “What If” scenario, so I probably would have done the same. At least the twins got the day off. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So good that all was safe…but yes, what if. I hope that question in that context is never answered. Glad your twins are safe.

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  16. I hate that either of us had to write our very similar posts. I don’t know what in this world possesses people to do the things they do. I drop my kids off every morning now and feel a lump in my throat as they wave and turn to walk away from my car. I want to yell at them to get back in the car, take them home, keep them with me. I try not to let on how anxious I am at leaving them in a place where they are supposed to be safe while they learn and form friendships.
    It not only makes me anxious. It makes me angry.

    I’m glad you decided to keep the twins home the next day if for no other reason than to ease your own mind. We had the weekend to let things settle but still….

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  17. Just today there was a shooting where a young man was shot & killed at a high school in Toronto. On Twitter there were rumors going around there was going to be a “fight” at the school, no one knew someone was going to bring a gun. On the other side of town, 2 men were killed & a third badly injured in another shoot out. So because of the violence, 4 schools went on lockdown. This is in Canada!
    I think we are better than the other animals because we don’t have to kill to ward off predators, we can out-think our predators. Unfortunately, this ability to think also gets us in trouble.
    I get freaked out when I think about all the violence out in the world too. When I first heard about the man in Dallas with ebola one of my first thoughts was “Is he here as germ warfare to kill Americans?” Then I heard more of his circumstances & my compassion took over. Thank goodness I am not ruled by my instincts all the time.

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