Thursday, May 22, 2014

Skool Nerse time

This is Mrs. Grumpy.

Now, I want to start by saying I'm glad no one was even slightly injured during yesterday's events, but I think this is a good time to review what happened, and how parents at Douglas C. Kenney Elementary School can learn from it. Even though there's only 2 weeks left in the school year, it's always important to go over basic safety.

As you all know by now, Mr. Ima Scumball robbed the convenience store across the street from the school yesterday morning, then (due to poor planning in not having a getaway car), unsuccessfully attempted to carjack a driver at gunpoint, then gave up and tried to escape on foot into the neighborhood. This all happened at about the same time classes were starting.

Obviously, this sort of activity is frowned upon by the Grumpyville Police, and so the area was quickly swarming with policemen, police cars, and a helicopter looking for Mr. Scumball.

Since there was a chance he'd try to get into the school to hide or take hostages, we were ordered to put the school on lockdown. So all gates were closed and locked, with no one allowed in or out. We even woke-up Elmer, our octogenarian security guard, from his morning nap.

Unfortunately, as always, the beginning of the school day is followed by stragglers who show up 10-15 minutes late, drop off their kids in front, and head to work. By the time they did yesterday, the gates were locked, and under lockdown protocol we aren't allowed to open them again until the all clear is sounded.

So, with policemen everywhere, more police cars arriving every moment to try and cordon off the area, and a helicopter hovering loudly overhead, it was reassuring to see so many parents doing the right thing: Dropping their kids off outside the locked gate and going to work.

Now, I personally don't leave my kids alone in an area where people with drawn firearms are chasing each other. Maybe I'm just overprotective that way. But it still seemed odd to me.

So, with your kids out there in the potential firing line, we can't let them in, either. Because that's the rule. We can't do anything to jeopardize the safety of the kids already inside the school. Calling on your cell phone as you drive away to say "Hi, the gate was locked and blocked off by a police car for some reason, please let Billy in." Isn't going to change anything.

I was particularly touched by some of the responses we got, when parents were told WHY the gate was locked:

"Really? Well, I still have to get to work."

"Wow. I hadn't heard it on the news. I'll go check again."

"I figured he was safe because there were cops everywhere."

 "Huh. Okay, call me if there's a problem."

"How long will he be out there? He had to pee when he got out of the car."

"Why can't you let him in? It's not like he's the robber. I can vouch for him."

"Oh, cool! Michael loves to play policeman! Will they let him help?"

Fortunately, Mr. Scumball was quickly caught hiding in someone's backyard, and we were able to let your kids in. However, I'd like to stress the key points here:

1. On the rare occasion the school gates are locked during the day, DON'T let your kid out of the car. It means something bad is happening.

2. Armed police everywhere is NOT a sign that the area is a good place for your kids.

3. The police are here to catch bad guys, not babysit your kids so you can go to work.

Thank you, and have a great summer.


Anonymous said...

Parenting FAIL on so many levels....

Pharm. Tech. RDC'06

Officer Cynical said...

You are one of the few people I've ever heard of who is cognizant of point #3.

RSDS said...

Thank-You for posting, Mrs. Grumpy. I had been wondering when we were going to see a new Skool Nerse Time post.

A month or so ago, an Active Shooter exercise, involving all of the local emergency services, was held at Rural Town High School. A few of the high school students (with appropriate make-up) were allowed to participate as "injured victims". The exercise was held on a Friday, when there were no actual classes scheduled.

Anonymous said...

All the parents that dropped their kids off during the shut down should be charged with child endangerment. What a bunch of maroons.

OMDG said...

Hate to be the lone voice of dissent here, but I'm guessing most of this wasn't communicated to the parents as they were dropping off their kids. I can imagine that it went down like this:

1. School gates closed, police circulating.
2. Police yelling at people, refusing to answer questions about what is going on, and yelling at people some more when they ask. Conflicting responses given to parents at best.
3. Nobody providing parents with information about what they should actually do.
4. Parent had to get to work lest they be fired.

Look, I'm not saying they were right, I'm just saying I can totally imagine how it went down and why they did what they did.

Medic2RN said...

Perhaps an informative notice should be sent home to parents about the procedures that should be followed in case of a lock down in the future. Apparently, some parents are not blessed with enough common sense to know that they should not drop off their kids in the middle of an emergent, dangerous situation.

seabrooksr said...

I don't know why people lack basic sense. Is it a darwin award if you allow your progeny to be mowed down by armed criminals? No, because you can make more?

However, I once was witness to an undercover police bust at a gas station of all things. The undercover unit in question was a SWAT unit, and when the suspect stepped out of his car to pay for his gas, they boxed him in with their unmarked black SUVs, and they held him at gunpoint with their semi-automatic rifles. All the patrons of the gas station milled around watching the action unfold.

It took me about thirty seconds to get away from the flammable gas tanks, and duck hopefully out of the crossfire on the ground behind a large van. Sixty seconds later I was speaking with the 911 operator when the police finally identified themselves. I stayed there until the police had cuffed the suspect.

I remember thinking are innocent bystanders either innocent or bystanders if they insist on remaining around so that they can watch/be involved in the action?

It could have gone down very differently if the suspect had had a gun in his waistband rather then the piece they found in his glovebox.

It is one of my go-to stories, tho. "You called the police on the police?". "Hey, I saw men dressed in black holding rifles, I didn't really stick around for a really good look".

Anonymous said...

I think Mrs. Grumpy should have commissioned a plane with a banner flying behind it to broadcast the message. Also, she should have sent a group text to every parent and community member in Grumpyville, informing them of the situation. For those without advanced technology, she should have commissioned homing pigeons to deliver the message, being careful to include the message in English, Spanish, Swahili, Morse code, and Braille. The message must also be culturally and religiously sensitive.

Then everyone would have been satisfied and known what to do and not have to exercise an iota of common sense whatsoever.

Now, let me go pick me eyes up off the floor because they've rolled so hard they fell out of my head.

Anonymous said...

the university i work for has an emergency alert system, it sends out text/email to everyone who subscribes to the alert mailing list in case of emergency. Each alert message also contains instructions what you should do at the moment. i would be surprised if the school Mrs. Grumpy works for doesn't have such a system already.

Packer said...

As a tribute to Snow White, or for some other reason, they are changing the name of Grumpyville to Dopeyville.

Anonymous said...

Are these the same parents who didn't want their kids watching Wreck it Ralph and needed health records for the charter bus driver?

Ms. Donna said...

Yes, Mrs. Grumpy, RN,

Your comments are sensible, and while I have sympathy for the "Show up or be fired" parents (Yes, there are employers out there like that) I wish Child Protective Services (or what ever they are called in Grumpyville) with a large net. Or better, a safe place for the kids to go. The parents can deal with the "system" later. I am glad the kids are OK.

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck on the fact that your school has GATES, I've never seen a school with a gate.

Disgusted said...

So much idiocy. Parents clearly abdicating their responsibility. But I'm afraid I don't think your school's any better than the let the policy of 'lockdown' override common sense. Absolutely no reason you couldn't have let the kids inside. Perhaps one of the police or your security guard could have guarded the gate while you let the children move away from danger? Perhaps some elementary observation skills would have let you survey the area and alternate between locked doors and unlocked?

I understand 'Because that's the rule' - it's the sign of a mind who would rather watch a child die than take even the slightest risk.

Unknown said...

WOW! I'm amazed! I'd not drop my soon to be high school son at a locked down school let alone my elementary school child! All our schools have lockable gates and I know we alert parents to problems; but it also depends on how far down the list you are before you get the notice. If the gates are locked, I'm heading home with my son until further notice. Love him too much to endanger his life. This is just nuts!

Silja said...

I am surprised the parents just drop the kids off, lockdown or no. In the schools around here, you need to sign them in tardy after official school start.

Don said...

I am surprised by the gate thing. I have never seen a school with a gate. If it happened in our town, the late kids would be milling around the doors of the school.

RehabRN said...

Yippee Mrs. Grumpy! You go! (Aren't you glad it's almost summer?)

We've had van drivers try to leave patients that way, too, in RehabLand. They DO have an appointment, so you can just let them in. RIIIGHT!

And not telling them, just gets all the veterans excited around here...running to the trouble, not away from it, as I was doing to get a better vantage point from which to dial 911. I just have this thing about GSWs. I don't want one.

At least, Bubba was locked down at school down the street, and no one dared let any kid in or out.

It did make the "How did your day go at work" conversation really exciting when we passed the news media on the way home.

And sorry OMDG..I disagree. Kids (or adults)guns and lights and sirens just don't mix.

Ah, the simple life in RehabLand...

Anonymous said...

One Halloween, I had all the trick-or-treaters crossing the street to give my house a really wide berth, because my husband's coworker stopped by to show off the cruiser's new LED lightbar, in my driveway. Guess the parents in my neighborhood have a little more sense.

lynda t. said...

As always a great post, Mrs. Grumpy! Don't stay away so long. Have a safe summer with your herd.17

Anonymous said...

Oh, you have to find the story about the outraged mother whose 8yr. old daughter had to pee in a trash can in the classroom. The school was on lock-down and the students were sheltering in place when the little girl had to go. The teacher put up a partition, to shield the child, she had music on to mask the 'toilet' sounds and fixed a trash can for her to pee in. The mother is 'outraged' and her daughter is 'suffering mental anguish', which I bet a few hundred thousand dollars will cure. This happened at the Ruth Fyfe elementary school in Las Vegas

Guildofcannonballs said...

Well, if the rule is the doors remain closed, forget about the kids outside.


Just following orders is a perfect defense for anything. Can you image the chaos and anarchy were people to break the rules (and remove kids from danger)?

Rita said...

My grandson's high school had a bomb drill which involved evacuating the students into the fenced, locked school grounds. He observed to me that they would have been sitting ducks for a concealed shooter. A few years earlier, fortunately before school year started, the whole center of town was endangered by a leaking propane tanker. Exciting times.

Sirikit said...

When something really bad happens, and those kids you refuse to let in, due to teh roolz, perish horribly, you'll be able to crow with schadenfreude. I'm so pleased for you (in advance). Way to go!!

Anonymous said...

So the criminal in question may be hiding nearby, nervous, wired, may or may not be on drugs (depending on the situation), looking for any chance to get away or "improve" his situation either impulsively or with crook-logic (which tends to be emotionally stunted).

(dry tone) And it's apparently occurred to NO ONE that the criminal may have used breaking lockdown to let the kids in to invade the school.

There's also the point that with the school in lockdown and cops around (which at least one parent saw), the kids shouldn't have been dropped off in first place.

Go on, blame the school for the measures meant to keep the kids in the school safe, and not the idiot parents who could see what was going on and let their kids out of the car anyway. If someone threatened to fire the parents for keeping their kids safe, it'd be a 3-day net wonder of bad PR for the company, and the bad boss would likely be the scapegoat.

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