Day 40 — “Just” a Threat
By Renée Bodkin
Today I was grateful that the “lockdown” at my school for a bomb threat was just that — “just” a threat. We’ve had lockdown drills this year but today when the principal came over the loudspeaker and said that we were going into lockdown and it was not a drill that was stressful. My students, 11th and 12th grade special education kids, complied with the rules but they didn’t take it too seriously so it was a trying 2 hours keeping them as quiet as possible and confined to the inner corner of the classroom. Kids had to “pee”. A boy kept saying he was going to “go out the rescue window” (kiddingly but still…). They were laughing and joking like it was no big deal. Which I suppose might be better than freaking out and panicking but who knows. Either way, it puts me — the adult in charge of the group — in a difficult position. Keep them calm and quiet with minimal drama was my goal. 2 hours sitting in the corner of the classroom with 15 students was not fun.
When all was said and done, it was an even bigger drama fest. Kids refused to go to BOCES (vocational classes). Kids said they were walking out and going home. Kids wouldn’t sit down and get the one small writing assignment done. There were only about 20 minutes left of class and it was controlled chaos.
I have never been so happy for that 11:00 AM bell to ring so they (and I) could go to lunch (separately, thankfully). The staff lunch line was running awfully slow but what can you expect after a morning of being in lockdown. Fortunately, they had soup that sounded good and a couple snacks to tide my stressed self over.
The afternoon classes were light in students. Many kids left. So it was a quiet-ish afternoon. But quiet makes me think and reflect on the seriousness of it all. Which makes me emotional about everything. So it was a trying afternoon staying focused and in “teacher-mode”.
I am grateful everything is okay. I am grateful it was “just” a threat.