Friday, November 16, 2007

Hard to write

I'm not looking forward to writing this post.

Not because I'm burned out on writing, NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo notwithstanding. I really enjoy the writing. And writing everyday is fine, although sometimes I'm a little stumped as to exactly what to write.

But today I have something to write about, but it's not funny or snarky or witty or heartwarming. Just a little upsetting. By the time I get it all out, it might be more than a little upsetting.

And I feel the need to put a lot of preface here. Preface about how I love my city and I know damn well that we have crime problems and I am committed to being a part of the solution. That's why I moved to one of the poorest census tracts in the city when it was redeveloped. That's why I send my children to public schools. That's why I walk to work.

But yesterday I doubted my choices.

Because yesterday, my son told me what happened on the playground. (This is all hearsay; he did not witness the event, but he was there when it allegedly happened. So believe what you want to believe.)

A few children were playing (throwing rocks, actually, is what he told me) near the fence that borders the playground. A man was on the other side of the fence. (Maybe across the street. Details, again, are fuzzy.) He spoke to the kids. They spoke to him. He pulled a gun and showed it to them, or maybe pointed it at them.

This happened at the beginning of recess. The kids didn't tell anyone until they went back inside. (And yes, the kids got in trouble for not telling.)

My son is a sensitive, sensible kid. He was pretty damn scared afterward. Not so scared that he wanted to stay home today or that he had nightmares or anything like that, but scared enough that it showed on his face when he told me about it.

And no, the school, the teacher, no. They didn't send a note home about it.

So if you'll pardon me, I need to call the office. This is a problem. And if it's not addressed to my satisfaction, you can bet your last dime that some grumpy redheaded blogger is going to wind up on the news.

edited to add:
The principal was aware of the situation yesterday and questioned the children involved. Each child's story was different from the others; she thinks the whole thing is a tall tale. As soon as it was reported, a teacher went back out to the playground to check out the situation and nobody was nearby at all. Even though she doesn't think there's a problem or that anything happened, the principal did contact the district's security office and reported the incident, also requested patrols. I still think a note should have come home, but at least she did what was necessary. The schoolyard is bounded by a fence, and the kids reported that this man was on the other side of the fence. I was impressed that my kids knew that it was a felony to be within 500 yards of a school with a gun (unless you're the police). So I'm okay. For now.


Kelly O said...

Oh my word. WTF?!

Anonymous said...

An interesting question would be whether the school thought it worth their time to notify the police? And where were the playground supervisors?

Candy said...

I am always amazed at the ego of a school system when it decides NOT to inform parents of things they clearly need to know.

Go after them. They have no right. They';re supposed to protect your children.

kalisah said...

I think the first issue to be addressed is, how is it that strange men can even approach the children while they're on the playground? Aren't the teachers watching them any better than that?

Please let me know what happens.

Mom said...

Wasn't there a gun incident when you were in high school? I don't recall the whole thing, but I remember that you were quite upset at the time.

(Sometimes we block troubling memories.)

Noodle said...

I've been thinking about this all day. I'm glad to know that the school took action at least.

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