When I Was In High School, I Didn’t Even Know What A Lockdown Was.

It’s been quite the stressful day. The high school that the 16-year-old attends was on lockdown from first period (about 7:25 a.m.-ish) until about 12:45 p.m. Apparently a student saw another student in a bathroom, doing what looked like loading a gun, so he did the right thing and reported it, causing the lockdown, subsequent flooding of the area by police, and the drama that has gone on for most of the high school day.

First, thank GOD for cell phones. We stayed in touch with our son the whole time. He was in his English class (a room with no outside windows) for the duration, with the lights off. He brought his iPod to school today (sneaky, Cheeky Monkey: but I’m glad) so he was listening to that, and the students were allowed to talk quietly.

A few texts in, I felt compelled to text him that I love him. I wrestled with the idea for a few minutes, not because we don’t say it in our house, but I didn’t want him to worry about what was going to happen even more than he already was. In the end I sent that text, and I got one back. I felt better.

He was in class with his best friend, which made me feel better too.

I kept up with newspaper updates via Twitter. I’m loving technology today. At one point I texted him “What up, Dog?” and he texted me back that everything was still fine but he was getting frustrated; he couldn’t focus on homework because he had to use the bathroom really badly. That was something that I didn’t even think of: all those poor kids stuck in their classrooms for five hours with no bathroom privileges. Ouch. (Safety first, I know. But still…ouch)

A little while after that text, I got up from the desk at the salon and went to the bathroom, and then remembered that he couldn’t go and I felt bad immediately. Of course there is no point in my not using the bathroom just because my kid couldn’t, but I still felt guilty.

After a hella-long morning, the lockdown was finally lifted when the entire school had been searched by the police and the K-9 Unit, and the weapon they found was a “look-alike” weapon: an air gun.

What I want to know is, what is this world coming to? What are we going to have to do to keep our kids safe? What kind of consequences do we have to set down on these kids who are causing havoc and drama to a school full of thousands of kids? This is becoming more common everyday, and I don’t see any progress that will help turn this around.

I know that we were lucky today. Other schools haven’t been so lucky. I can’t wait til school is out so I can hug my kid.



  • NukeDad

    Scary. Glad that this was the result though. The kid should be suspended for 3 days and then forced to take the “What Were You Thinking?” workshop every Saturday this summer. Idiot.

  • Mags

    That is very scary and I’m glad that everything turned out ok. Did they find out whose fake gun it was?

    I don’t envy parents these days worrying about things like this. It seems like when I was little all my parents had to worry about was strangers-now kids hurt their own. It’s madness…

    I’m so happy to hear that everything is OK but sorry you and your son had to go through this.

  • Sarah

    THANK GOODNESS everything is ok!! Melissa called me this morning and told me – and I sent a text, but I’m wondering if I didn’t put it into my cell phone wrong or maybe you didn’t know who the heck was texting you. LOL At any rate – so glad this has a happy ending. Hug that boy HARD when he gets home, and then do it again for me!

  • Dea

    I am so glad everything turned out this way, but that kid, and his/her parents should be stood up in front of the community and publicly humiliated. Seriously – tarring and feathering??? Public humiliation works wonders. Stupidity isn't an excuse, I didn't know isn't an excuse…. A gun is a gun, I don't care WHAT it shoots!

    I'm so glad they're all safe. A weapon does not belong in school. My son will not be allowed to take any of his martial arts weapons to school – I don't see how this is ANY different! >:(

    I'm so sorry you had to sit through it. (((HUGS)))

  • stACEy

    glad he is safe!!!
    another reason I need to file away for giving our kids cell phones… I haven’t wanted to but that would be a pro in the discussion.

    hug him tight!

  • Kat

    Holy cow. I am so glad everyone is alright and nothing happened. What a nightmare that must have been for everyone involved, I can’t even begin to imagine.

    Love that you decided to send the I love you text though it may have worried him, it may also have calmed him.


  • Mom24

    That is so scary. I’m sorry you all went through that. Our schools have ‘lock down drills’ which I hate. I don’t think my 6 and 8 year olds should have to practice what your son went through.

    Have a nice, safe, peaceful evening.

    Thank God that student told what they thought they saw though.

  • Faith

    My school has drills for this, and I’m always glad that they’re not real- they’re so scary! I hate them.
    Everyone talks about how great it is we can go to school without fear of losing our lives, but then something like this happens, and it makes you think about how safe we really our in schools.

  • k a t i e

    That is awful – your stress levels must have been crazy, and his. Poor guy – at least all worked out ok. What’s happening to the kid with the ‘fake’ gun?

    I’ve often wondered what would happen in Australian schools if there was ever anything like that – I can’t imagine a lot would be done, unlike your lock-down.

    Big virtual hugs to you both.

  • Sue

    Poor him, poor you!
    Funny, I’ve never thought about the bathroom situation either during a lockdown. This in itself is odd, because I am always thinking of the bathroom and where my next meal, snack is coming from.
    So glad that everything turned out ok.
    Who the heck brings an air gun to school?????

  • Melisa

    Thanks for all of your nice comments, everybody! Rough day indeed.

    StACEy: Yes, yes…I was waiting for my 8th grader to mention something about “Yeah Mom, THAT’S why you should get me a cell phone!” (he doesn’t know that I’ve had his new cell phone–for Hanukkah–in my closet for more than a week now. 🙂 )

    Faith: Luckily, 99% of these stupid events end up being pranks or something not as serious as it initially seems. It’s unfortunate that the drills are even necessary; another example of a couple people “ruining it” for most of the people. 🙁

    Sue: A stupid person, that’s who.

  • Anonymous

    From Dawn:

    Melisa, I’m so relieved that all is well. I totally know that feeling of needing to hug your kid when that happens. It’s sickening to know that not only did it happen to Nick last year, but then to D this year. When Nick’s lockdown was over, I left my school (we were locked down also because of their situation), drove to the high school, grabbed my son and hung on for dear life. The amount of parents there doing the same thing was amazing!

    Anyway, glad all is well and a POX on any person bringing any kind of gun, real or not, to school!

  • Michelle

    Oh, wow! I didn’t realize that was your school. Poor kid. I’m glad it turned out “well” in the end, but how scary! And out of curiosity, why do you not say I love you? Not judging at all (I to this day don’t say it to my parents) but totally curious as it seems to common now.

  • Melisa

    Michelle: I know we went over this via e-mail but I wanted to copy and paste it here in case anyone else was confused; I may have worded that badly.

    In case anyone was wondering the same thing, I responded to Michelle:

    “I DO say ‘I love you.’ I think I wrote, “It’s not like we don’t say I love you” or something like that. We actually say it all the time.”