Wednesday night, I offered this post about e-mails shooting around the Tall City, with people sharing what they'd heard about the potential for violence at a school later in the week.
"Is that a good thing, or a bad thing, or what," I asked at the time.
IMHO, much of the e-exchange was a bad thing, raising anxiety over something they heard from someone ... who had heard from someone ... who had heard from someone. There were a number of variations on what might happen, on the race or ethnicity of the perpretators and the victims, the reason that all this was coming up in the first place, and how parents planned to keep their kiddos home today. There were those who counseled patience, speaking directly to authorities, and waiting to get the facts before acting ... but they were in the minority
But there was a good thing - again, IMHO - that arose from all of this, and that was the school's response.
"Thank you for notifying me. Student safety is our priority," a campus administrator responded. "I was sent a copy of the e-mail that went around to all PTA members. We do have extra security on hand provided by MPD gang unit, as well as an extra MISD policeman on duty. We have had no incidents that have resulted from the 'tagging' of our building on Tuesday. All teachers are on duty during passing periods. We investigate all CrimeStoppers tips immediately and thoroughly. If anyone's child sees something that does not belong at school or hears names of students that might be involved, we need to know. All CrimeStoppers tips remain anonymous. We have no names or groups ..... just the rumor itself."
And the school didn't just talk-the-talk. There was a noticable police presence (both district and city officers) on the campus today ... not confrontational or intrusive, just present. It had a reassuring effect ... and if there was any foundation to the rumors, I believe that presence would have served as a deterrent.
The school and the police were aware and pro-active ... and that was good. As for Wednesday's and Thursday's e-exchange, one good suggestion followed the administrator's response, noting the school, "is well aware of the situation and seems to have a grasp on how to handle it. I think the very best thing we can do ... is to send our kids to school and pray for their safety and for the kids who are in gangs to find the love and support they need. Never underestimate the power of prayer."