Armed Individual Reported On Campus – A Parent’s Perspective
Yesterday morning we received a call from a concerned listener wanting to know if we knew what was happening at J. Wallace James Elementary school in Lafayette. The caller reported that they had just driven by the school and there were multiple ambulances, police units, and other tactical vehicles surrounding the school.
It was an all too eerie reminder that these are not the same times in which I grew up an attended elementary school. In my day we had Civil Defense drills as if hiding under a desk was going to really protect us from a nuclear blast. School today doesn't appear to have the illusion of safety that my generation experienced as students.
Shortly before 2 PM yesterday I received another notification about a school incident. This notification was from LSU. The notice concerned a report of an armed individual on campus very near where my daughter's apartment is located. My heart truly sank to my feet as I hurriedly dialed Anna's number. There was no answer. I immediately hit the internet and began checking reliable sources for details.
This isn't the first time I've felt scared and helpless as a parent too many miles away when an incident was reported in the general vicinity of my children. There was a shooting last year at Georgia Tech, my son is a student there. The media reports suggested the incident occurred in close proximity to his residence as well.
By the Grace of the Almighty neither incident, the LSU or the Georgia Tech incident involved my children directly. However, both of those incidents combined with the recent tragedy in Florida and at other schools around our nation have certainly affected me.
You can't be a parent and not play the haunting "what if" game. I swear it's worse than reading a diagnosis on WebMD.
I am glad schools like LSU, Georgia Tech, U.L. and many others have text and email-based notification systems. Parents need to know facts from reliable sources. Students need to know facts that will keep them out of harm's way.
As far as the solution goes, I wish I could lay it all out for you in such a way that every single person in the country would be made happy. Unfortunately, there isn't a solution that will cover that much ideological ground.
In the meantime, let's hug our kids, stay in touch, support our schools, reach out to those individuals who appear lost, and let's pray that common sense and respect for life will once again walk freely among us in the coming days ahead.