Summer is over and even in a 90 degree heat wave the kids have to go back to school. Last Wednesday was the first day of school in my quiet little rural community. It’s the kind of old-school small town where folks stop to chat on the street and send their kids out to play without a second thought. On Wednesday that sense of safety was taken from us. After a phoned-in bomb threat, kids were in lockdown at school. Then later in the day, we were informed that a police cruiser was fired upon and had burst into flame. We were all told to “shelter in place” while helicopters roared overhead and SWAT teams drove by. My grandkids and their nanny sheltered at my house. Facebook was our real time connection to neighbors and friends.
While in the end it turned out to be a very dangerous hoax, it made us all think in different ways about children’s safety. I tend to be a “free range kids” grandparent, encouraging them to ride their bikes, go out and play in the woods and make new animal friends, but that isn’t always either possible or appropriate. It seems that this is a timely moment for a piece on keeping your kids safe by my terrific colleague Elizabeth Crowley… stay tuned.