It’s a strange thing to send your kid to school saying “You won’t get blown up.” If you’re wrong, they’ll really hold that against you. The previous day, Southwest High School was closed for a bomb threat, and some miscreant decided it would be jolly sport to shut down Washburn. But the school said the threat was noncredible, so off they went to experience another day of learning under the threat of annihilation.
“You’ll be fine,” I reassured her. “I went to school under the constant terrifying threat of Russian bombs, and I good learn brain think. Now to be teached what is the capital of London! Have a nice day.”
We weren’t told why the threat was noncredible, though. I doubt we’ll ever be told; it is simply enough to tell the parents, “Never mind, go about your business, move along, nothing to see.” Was it noncredible because the person described a type of explosive that uses a flux capacitor, or because the person was obviously stoned and you could hear other students giggling in the background? Dude you just said you left four sticks of Myno-dite — dude c’mon.
Nothing happened. That was it. No one’s blabbed guilt, at least according to the rumor-distribution channels of social media. But in weeks to come I’d like to get one of those prerecorded school messages that says, “We caught the little squirt, and he will be spending the next three weeks scrubbing toilets with a small piece of sponge attached to a Popsicle stick with a rubber band, so it keeps coming apart.”
Threats like this may seem part of the Bad Modern World, but this isn’t new. When I was in high school some kids wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the name of a domestic terrorist group took over the library with squirt guns that looked realistic, inasmuch as they had a barrel and a trigger, and locked the doors and presented a list of demands.
It was a joke. The students gave up when the principal arrived and were promptly expelled.
The yearbook has a picture of them outside the school looking defiant. I look at the picture today and think “I can’t believe I thought that hairstyle was a good idea.” But it was the 70s, and we were all operating under various communal delusions.
Point is, kids are idiots sometimes. A bomb threat is different from a prank by several orders of magnitude, but who am I to judge these kids, really?
A parent, that’s who. Knock it off!