A Threat Made to School: How Would You Respond?

Readers — Here’s a case I’m very curious about, because I truly don’t know how I’d react. First — the news report:

And tzrzkbzhtd
here’s a note I got about the story:

Dear Free-Range Kids: It is so refreshing to have a rational place to reaffirm my instincts, that we are not living in a world where “times are different now”. If I hear that phrase uttered one more time…

 Anyway, today our town’s police department received some sort of threat in the mail against our schools. Neither the police nor superintendent of schools has given specifics as to what was in the letter. They are putting an officer at every school in town through at least the end of this week.

 So, of course the rumors have started and range from a shooting to a bomb to beheading! My Facebook news feed is filled with parents stating they are keeping their children home from school for the rest of the week. They all seem to admit that it is probably a hoax, but in the next breath say how oh “so scary” it is and “what awful times our kids have to live in”.

 My kids will be attending school. As if someone is really going to give the police advanced warning about wanting to do something! That criminal would be pretty stupid.

 How do I stay sane amid all the paranoia without seeming like a heartless parent who doesn’t care what happens to her kids? How can we change this paranoid mindset?  This “incident” will only confirm for all of these parents that we’re constantly in danger. How do we effect change on a large scale? I would definitely be in the minority if I were to voice my views if not completely alone in my views. – Rhode Island Mom

Dear Mom: My whole goal is to calm hysteria, too. Beheading worries? That’s just free-floating insanity.

That being said, I really don’t know what to do if faced with an actual, written threat, as opposed to the usual, generic “Nothing is safe anymore!” A threat is something that should be taken seriously, if only to determine how serious it is. Without knowing any details (and could that news reporter have said LESS in MORE words?) I really am not sure how worried or exasperated I’d feel. I’m curious as to what everyone else on this site thinks is a reasonable response.

Sorry to be so wishy-washy. I will defend to the death a child’s right to play outside, walk to school,  etc. etc., but a threat gives even me pause. – L.


60 Responses to A Threat Made to School: How Would You Respond?

  1. Steve S October 8, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    I don’t think the reaction by police and schools was unreasonable. School is still open and they have just added some police to observe. Threats should be taken seriously. This isn’t anything new. I attended a rural school back in the 70’s and 80’s and remember a instance where someone called in a bomb threat. The school was evacuated and bomb squad had to come from several hundred miles away.

    I am sure that some of the paranoia is due to social media and the ease of spreading rumors. I am not convinced that this wouldn’t have happened in the past if it were available.

  2. Steve S October 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Let’s look at this another way. If someone sent you a letter saying, “Dear _______, I am going to break into your house at ___________ on October 9, 2014 and kill you.” Are you really going to do nothing? I would certainly go on with my life, but I would also take reasonable precautions.

  3. Laura October 8, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    I have to agree that a threat given is something for concern and should be addressed with the appropriate response. When I was a public school teacher, if there was a threat made to the school (not uncommon) that required everyone to remain in the classroom with a locked door, the principal would make an announcement using the “secret code”. Ours was, “Attention teachers, Mr. Houston is in the building. Mr. Houston is IN the building.” Kind of funny to me as a pre-parent but sort of terrifying now that I have kids. Most of the time, no one would know if the police had been called unless we were near a window and could see them arrive. Now that every kid has a phone, though, I’m sure the information spreads much more quickly. At the time, though, it was the administration’s goal to keep everything business as usual unless an evacuation was required.

  4. BL October 8, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    Gee, what else is new?

    From the book “The School as a Safe Haven” by Rollin and Robert Watson:

    “Most students attending schools during the 1960s and 1970s remember than bomb scares became so frequent at times as to become disruptive … But bomb scares, at least in metropolitan areas like New York, were becoming a nuisance as early as the 1950s.”

    So the “awful times our kids have to live in” seem to resemble the awful times their parents and grandparents lived in.

  5. Mary October 8, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    I sent them to school today. I believe town police and school officials are handeling it well and our kids are safe. I refuse to teach my kids to be afraid. I reminded them to be cautious and aware but I will not teach them to back down when threatened.

  6. Coasterfreak October 8, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    I agree that an actual threat needs to be taken seriously, regardless of whether or not it is probably a hoax. But keeping the kids home from school for the rest of the week “just in case” is an overreaction.

    I know several people with elementary school aged children who left work and took their kids out of school early the day of the Sandy Hook tragedy as if their kids had somehow narrowly cheated death that day just because there was a shooting 2000 miles away. Some of them didn’t let their kids go back to school for several days afterwards. That’s lunacy. Taking precautions against a written threat is reasonable.

  7. Brad October 8, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    The message I would send to my kids would be along the lines of, “Somebody sent in a threatening message to the school; the police and people at the school think it’s a hoax, but they’re taking extra steps to keep kids safe. You’ll be fine.”

    I don’t think I’d hide it from them, but I would be very careful to not send the message that they need to be extra cautious or “keep their eyes open.” Have some faith in the system and that your public servants are not risking your kids’ safety.

  8. SKL October 8, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    I think they do have to address it vs. ignore it, even knowing the majority of threats are false.

    When I was in high school around 1980, we occasionally got bomb threats at school. They would herd us into some relatively safer place while they searched for a possible bomb. We enjoyed getting out of class without penalty. 😛 There never was a bomb. But you know that if there ever was, and someone heard the school ignored a threat, … I don’t have to finish this sentence.

  9. SKL October 8, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    I never believed there was a bomb in the high school, by the way. Nobody panicked or anything.

    The message to my kids would be that these things are almost always hoaxes, what a pain that the school staff has to search the school.

    If someone really wanted to bomb the school and kill kids, they would not announce their plans before hand.

  10. Thea October 8, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    We had so many bomb threats my freshman year of high school (1996) that it became a joke. At first they would take us outside, for hours, while the 3 school complex was checked. We even got to go home a couple of times. Those that could walk did. The rest had to wait even longer for bus/parent pick up. Then it turned into just an hour outside. Then the only way we knew there was a threat was when we would see the bomb sniffing dogs in the hallways.

  11. Erika October 8, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Well, one of the police chiefs did say that the threat includes the word “beheading.” So that’s not just rumor-mongering.

    This is a tough one. We live in a reasonably nearby town in the same state (it’s Rhode Island, everything is close), but not one that was targeted. I do know of someone in our town who kept her kids home today. I’m not actually concerned, but if I lived in Cranston I might be. The police are taking it pretty seriously. I would too.

  12. Kimberly Herbert October 8, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Last year we had a domestic violence incident. A father showed up just as school was starting and removed his kids from school. The mother was notified because staff were alarmed by the way he was acting. (We had no legal way to keep from releasing the kids. Delaying tactics were used)

    When they escaped from him – the school was the place they sought shelter. A teacher who was a cousin of the father, talked the Mom into pressing charges and getting a restraining order. He made threats against his family and the school on social media.

    We had a staff meeting, his mug shot was e-mailed to us. We were on modified lockdown. classroom doors were kept locked but not pod doors (pods are groups of 4 classrooms). We had recess, but the children in this family went to the library instead. Police officers were stationed in an office just off the front door. The police used social media to try and get him to surrender – and trace him. They caught him after about a week. The police left.

    Then they came back 2 hours later. A new mug shot of a different father was sent out because he had attacked his family. They found him in less than a day.

    I think the police and school acted correctly in these situations. Unfortunately they have far to much experience dealing with this type of violence. In the last 10 years my school experienced 1 family annihilation, 1 attempted family annihilation (the mother and grandmother were killed but the children escaped. Father was eventually brought to justice), and 1 averted family annihilation (Mom talked Dad into letting her and the kids go, but killed himself).

    On the other hand when people start in on blanket X type people from campus because they are dangerous, I say we should use history and profiling. Therefore all school board members should be banned from district property and events. After all the largest mass murder of students and staff at a school was the Bath School bombing by school board member Andrew Kehoe in 1923. That usually shuts down that nonsense. Almost as quick as when someone is ranting about how we need school prayer and I ask them if we should start with the Joyful or Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary and they sputter they don’t want their child learning Catholic prayers only (Insert their particular brand of Christianity).

  13. marie October 8, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    If it were a credible threat, the school would be closed. I don’t see the administration or the cops thinking, “yeah, looks like someone has an axe and is looking for a neck” and deciding to keep the schools open. This looks more like a “better safe than sorry” decision. Sorry kids…go to school.

    Interesting that a threat to cut off someone’s head has resulted in people…losing their heads.

  14. Rhode Island Mom October 8, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi all! I am the mom who sent in the email to Lenore posted above. I want to clarify my email as I think some are misunderstanding. I am not saying the police shouldn’t take this seriously. They absolutely should. Should they investigate? Of course! Police presence at school for the time being? Yep, totally on board with that as well. However, I guess my concern is how this will affect things after this incident has been resolved. The amount of panic I am seeing and hearing from parents could change the way decisions are made about unrelated things in our schools. I am concerned with how this will encourage more security theater than there already is. How can we change the discourse about these types of things in the future. I talked to my kids about it in a way they could understand but not become fearful. I guess I am just sick of hearing “what a world we live in!” Let have discussions but let’s base them on facts and statistics, not fear.

  15. Andrea October 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    It’s hard to judge without more information. My first questions would be how many overt threats have been followed by attempts described in the threat? If the answer is none, or a miniscule amount, then I’m not worried. But if there is actually a legitimate likelihood of attempts, then I would take it more seriously.

    Absent that information, I would probably just follow the authorities’ lead, given they have more information than I have, I don’t really have a choice and I don’t know if it makes sense to do something different based on LESS information.

  16. Roger the Shrubber October 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    security theater: This evening, my wife is submitting her fingerprints to the FBI. It is a requirement as a volunteer for my sons’ PTA.

  17. Kenny Felder October 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    If there were any real danger, or even the shadow of a hint of real danger, the police would have closed the schools. Given that they know what’s going on, and you don’t, and they have elected to keep the schools open, I would take their word that it is safe to send your kids.

  18. Robert Monroe, Jr. October 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    I grew up in suburban NJ town in the 1970’s and we had our share of bomb threats. As other people have noted, this is nothing new. Social media and the belief that “things are much worse today” has bent people out of shape. I refuse to be ruled by fear and I teach my children the same thing. And, people wonder why their children are so anxious.

  19. K2 October 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    My kids are already established in schools, but I think if I were starting out with a new first baby I would seriously consider homeschooling. The schools don’t even disclose what the threat is in this case, which I think parents have a right to know. There are also other reasons for my feeling that if doing things over I would do them differently.

  20. K2 October 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    My faith that public officials have everything under complete control and desire all the same things I do has eroded in recent months.

  21. lollipoplover October 8, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    In contrast, yesterday a neighboring high school received a threat via social media that said “hey guys, I’m not in school anymore and I’m bringing a gun in though so watch out.”
    The school notified the police, they got the subject in custody rather quickly, and the superintendent notified parents with an email that there was a threat and they addressed it. Problem handled, school is open.

    But there were some 187 comments on Facebook (I get our county’s news feed) of parents voicing anger that this wasn’t handled seriously enough and there may be others involved and NO ONE should send their kids to school because what if he had accomplices?? One of the moms posted how she stayed home from work with her high schooler to keep him safe. Wait, isn’t he in high school? Why can’t he stay home by himself?

    I don’t think there’s an acceptable way to handle threats that will make everyone happy. I also feel news organizations should not give lip service to school threats and encourage copycats looking for attention. We don’t need to treat every idiot’s twitter post like the next Sandy Hook.

  22. jimc5499 October 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    I’d make a point of being home that day at that time with two of my friends, Mr. Remington and Mr. Glock.

  23. Gina October 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    If the police call it a “credible threat” my kids would be home. I think it’s better safe than sorry in this case, especially when there have been so many times when the people who were supposed to be protecting have missed the boat…even with a threat they knew of.

  24. Emily Morris October 8, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    I think the schools acted appropriately. I assume they responded with what they what was right level of protection. I trust the officials and cops know more details and have assessed the danger.

    All sounds good there.

    I would also send my children. I like to trust that if no one felt safe having the schools open… the schools would be closed.

  25. Papilio October 8, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    Yeah, that’s tough. I can see how they’d both want to address the threat but also keep the public from panicking because if there’s one thing that doesn’t help the situation, it’s that…
    I’m glad they at least kept the school open.

    Hopefully it turns out to be nothing (or a threat by a deranged playground equipment manufacturer to secretly place swings on the school playground overnight).

  26. Emily Morris October 8, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    On another note, I notice there’s a full spectrum of reactions here… and I see the good thinking in each one of them.

    Yes, this is a tricky situation, and yes, I think this fully depends on the situation and my personal feelings on the local government.

    Free Range Kids: Consider your situation, the knowledge of your kids, and the knowledge of those around you. Make a decision.

  27. Jill October 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I would be a little more cautious. Law enforcement is calling it credible and conducting an investigation. And you know, for stuff like this, there’s always more going on or that they know about than what gets released to the media. So because there is an actual investigation underway and specific schools were targeted (as opposed to some vague, random threat) I’d be more cautious. If my kids attended a school in those towns, I’d keep them home until things died down.

  28. Michelle October 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    When I was in high school we had a bomb threat called in ( not long after Columbine) 90% of students didn’t attend. My friend and I did. It was a great day we had a biology teat scheduled that day and my friend and I got to use the book, each other, and the teacher. ( we were the only 2 to attend) it was a great day seeing the teachers in a different light and having a low key day at school) Like my mom said then. If someone was really going to do something they wouldn’t call the school first.

  29. marie October 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    The amount of panic I am seeing and hearing from parents could change the way decisions are made about unrelated things in our schools.

    Great point, illustrated by Gina, who said:
    If the police call it a “credible threat” my kids would be home. I think it’s better safe than sorry in this case, especially when there have been so many times when the people who were supposed to be protecting have missed the boat…even with a threat they knew of.

    The police have almost no choice but to call it a credible threat. If they ignore it and something happens, they look bad. Cops always look better when they can claim to be protecting us. The fact that they didn’t close the schools tells me that they didn’t think anything was likely to happen.

    So many times when the people who were supposed to be protecting have missed the boat…
    HOW many times? How likely is it that this is another one of those rare times? Events like Sandy Hook or Columbine were not incidents where someone was supposed to be protecting us and they missed the boat. Those were events in which someone wanted badly enough to kill people that they strode right over any safeguards in place. This WILL happen again, somewhere, sometime. Probably not my school, probably not my town. I do wonder, though, if the breathless media coverage combined with panicky Tweets and Facebook newsfeeds encourage people who want to make a point to do it in as splashy a way as possible.

    “Better safe than sorry” would keep us all at home refusing to get in our cars if that was really our top concern AND if we were using reason to consider risk.

  30. lollipoplover October 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    I was wondering how many violent school attacks (or workplace violence) were preceded by a note or other warning? Are there any statistics on school violence and anonymous notes or threatening messages left on bathroom walls? I wouldn’t write off a threat but at the same time, why is the writer of the threat giving the heads up to the authorities??

  31. Rhode Island Mom October 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    @ Marie. I totally agree. I just went back over the news story and nowhere did any official call it a credible threat. It is a threat and of course, they have to investigation…credible or not.

  32. Papilio October 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Lenore, how is it possible that according to the metadata you send today’s auto response almost 5 years ago (and so early in the morning, too!)…?
    Just a few weeks ago it was January 2009!

    Van: Lenore Skenazy [your address]
    Verzonden: vrijdag 8 januari 2010 6:16
    Aan: [my address]
    Onderwerp: Auto Response

  33. Reziac October 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    How would I react? “Try it, punk.” Threaten me and mine, I don’t hide and cower. I don’t react like a victim. I’d tell my kids, “It’s probably a hoax, but if it ever turns out to be real, use the good sense I taught you, and feel free to defend yourself. You’re not a victim.”

    Gah. I grew up during the Cold War. The air raid sirens were still tested at noon every Sunday. Young parents today have absolutely no clue what a threat really IS. Stop acting like one nutjob can end the world. Cuz that’s what they want — to see you run in fear. Stop encouraging them by cowering at every possible threat.

  34. KLY October 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I have to agree with those pointing out that The Authorities tend to *over* react and overstate the slightest possibility of a threat, for CYA purposes, particularly when there are kids involved. Nobody wants to be the one who dropped the ball and ignored something even if there is a *hint* of a possibility (or, honestly, if there is a chance that the public will hear about it and demand to know why more wasn’t done, even if it is about something imaginary). And seriously, they will lock down or *shut* down schools for just about anything, these days, so the fact that school remained open says a lot about the actual level of threat, as decided upon by those with the most information (and a lot to lose if they are wrong).

    Increasing security and all that is a perfectly reasonable and responsible approach. But if schools aren’t closing and they aren’t sending home laundry lists of OMG!DANGER! precautions and whatnot? My kid would totally be going to school. (And they might, even if it was just the usual OMG!DANGER! overreaction that happens with anything and everything. But with our state? If they aren’t making announcements about lightening up on the draconian absentee policies, I’m not even going to hesitate a little.

    Unfortunately, this *is* just going to feed those determined to see the world as scary, because even when/if it comes to nothing, it will be brought up as a “close call”. I think the only thing you can try to do in the face of that is to keep calmly and reasonably pointing out that the official response was appropriate and, while it is comforting to know that they will work to keep our kids safe, NOTHING HAPPENED.

  35. EricS October 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    A threat is a threat, and should not be dismissed so lightly. It is different from the usual paranoia scenarios of the day to day. For me, unless the school has deemed it that children should probably stay home till the threat is assessed, and/or confirmed, my kid would go to school that day.

    When I was in elementary school and in high school, we experienced to bomb threats. Once in elementary, and twice in high school. The day the threats were received, the school, on the behest of the Police, let everyone out early. The next day, teachers were outside letting kids know it was safe to return to school. I’m sure if it wasn’t they would have also turned the students back home.

    Threats are usually meaningless for the most part, very few threat are actual threats. The worse thing we can do is start panicking, and thinking the worse. These threats, idol or not, are meant to do one specific thing…cause chaos and fear in people. This is the last thing we should all be doing. Keep composed, keep calm, keep in mind that it’s most likely a hoax, and follow further instructions. We should never give into these threats, or we let these idiots win. And give them reason to keep doing it.

    It’s no different than actual terrorist acts. Terrorists on the other side of the world are laughing, because now they don’t even have to lift a finger, and America is already in chaos. They’re psychological plan is working. Our country is tearing itself apart, and they haven’t even stepped foot on US soil.

    Just like the adage, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Victor Hugo says it eloquently as well. “There is no force more powerful than an idea whose time has come”.

  36. Rick October 8, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    What bugs me about this “threat” letter is that the Police are the ones who received it. The letter was not shown to the public or reporters. The exact wording of the letter was not given to us and that the response is more police militarization of schools. Was the letter handwritten or printed from a computer? If it was printed then the printer can be identified because all printers manufactured for the (at least) the last decade have identifying marks put on every sheet of paper. There are a lot of red flags about this story.

  37. Erin R. October 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    I have seen several exposes of events that were orchestrated by people other than those who the press has said caused them. I think these events are meant to mold public opinion through fear and reactionism (is that even a word?) instead of logical thinking. This is probably another of those events. In the absence of any proof that there is a threat, I would send my kids to school. But let’s just say this was a threat and police are upping their presence for three days or a week. If you were the criminal, wouldn’t you just wait until things calmed, and then make your attack? It just doesn’t make sense to be molded by fear and paranoia. That’s how REAL criminals perpetrate their hidden agendas.

  38. Gina October 8, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Marie: Yes, those instances were not known of in advance. But what about the Boston Marathon bombers? Those guys were being watched, the authorities knew about them and yet they were still able to harm people.
    Do NOT misunderstand. I don’t necessarily think that the

  39. Gina October 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Oops..hit “send” when I intended to reword my post. My point is, sometimes the authorities know in advance that somebody is dangerous and they are unable to do anything to stop them. Sometimes, they choose to go a certain route to not alarm the public, but they end up putting people in danger.
    The authorities are only human and they make mistakes. If there is a “credible” threat, that is different than my taking my children in an automobile. Yes, somebody could cross a line and hit me head on, or hit me from behind at 100 mph, but the statistics about kids being killed do not take into account my (perfect) driving record, my not drinking or doing drugs or the fact that my children are ALWAYS buckled up properly in a car. Show me THOSE statistics.
    If the cops say there is a threat to a specific place, my children will not be there.

  40. Beth October 8, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    And I agree with those who say that the police would have closed the schools if it were a truly credible threat. One officer at each school is probably not going to be able to stop a darn thing, but it sure looks good.

    For those who would keep their kids home, I have a serious question. For how long would you keep them home? How would you know when it was safe for them to go back? If the police keeping the schools open doesn’t put your mind at ease, would you really trust them saying “all is well now”?

  41. Michele October 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    I’d hold off on sending them to school until more information was disclosed to the families. If the officials are going to withhold and be vague (even if for valid, law enforcement reasons), I’d just as soon wait it out.

    Regardless of how “secure” our schools front doors are now, needing to get buzzed in and so on, all the monsters out there can still gain access just as easily as before all these drastic measures were put in place. Buzzing the schools front door and having to state your name or whatever isn’t stopping anyone. I’d love to see stats on how many folks are actually ever denied entry since all of these “improved security features” have been put in place.

  42. Jenny Islander October 8, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Our town holds regular disaster* drills at the high school using high school students as volunteer casualties. We also get waves of fake bomb threats, which always turn out to be some tween or teen who doesn’t feel like going to school that day. Response to the bomb threat is treated as just another drill. The other part of the response is getting on the media yet again to explain that the fine for calling out emergency services on false pretenses is $$$$$lots.

    *Earthquake and tsunami with attendant fires in damaged structures. Getting to put on gruesome makeup and groan and scream is fun!

  43. SteveS October 8, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    I’d make a point of being home that day at that time with two of my friends, Mr. Remington and Mr. Glock.

    That would certainly qualify as a reasonable precaution. 😉

  44. Donna October 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    The problem is that over reacting is just feeding the beast.

    Last year one of the local counties had an issue with some kids writing threats on the bathroom wall. Someone did it. It got a big reaction with the school being evacuated for several hours. So someone else did it the next day. And so on. After several days of this, the school district put every school in the county on lockdown for the rest of the year (only a couple weeks), and cancelled field day and other school activities.

    Yes schools need to react to threats, but, at the same time, the reaction is what the pranksters who do this want. And I’ve never heard that actual bombs were ever found during a search after a threat, especially one written on a bathroom wall.

  45. Mandy October 8, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    When I was in elementary school in the early 80s, it seemed like there were bomb threats all the time. Nobody worried it was real, but we still had to go outside to the far end of the athletic field and hang around for an hour or three. It was just a waste of time.

    Times have not changed.

  46. Donald October 8, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    Jennifer Aniston has been pregnant 87 times. Her life is a ratings goldmine. For a while she was in the tabloids about every two weeks with baby rumors. While I have no doubt that she can fall pregnant, I read every headline about her with a grain of salt.

    Three schools were threatened three times. “The threats were serious enough to warrant police action”. This is the only thing they can elaborate on. Why Is That? The schools, police, and the News has a long history of blowing things out of proportion. Surly they would again if they had something else. The fact that they won’t elaborate makes me suspicious of grand standing.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a resident got fed up and wrote to the schools, “If I had my way, I’d restore whipping in schools! If they tread on my flowers one more time, I might just do that!”

    Note that I did NOT say that I don’t care if a serious threat was made. No doubt that some people will assume that I feel this way. I just have my suspicions. They have a reputation of defining things as serious that we often laugh at.

  47. Donald October 9, 2014 at 12:10 am #

    IT MUST BE SERIOUS! The schools, police, and News wouldn’t water down real threats by hiding them behind a majority of laughable insignificant ones. That would mean that they believe ratings are more important than children safety. THEY WOULD NEVER DO THAT!

  48. Puzzled October 9, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    Threaters gonna threat.

  49. Ben October 9, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    People who keep their kids at home after a threat like this are overly paranoid. It is already close to impossible to enter a school without permission. If police are stationed there it gets even harder.

  50. Donald October 9, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    On an episode of The Simpsons, reverend Lovejoy gets a message from his wife. “Call Ned Flanders! He says it’s urgent!” Reverend Lovejoy then murmurs, “He probably stepped on a worm”

    That memory came to mind when I read about, “A threat Made to Schools.”

  51. Jules October 9, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    Glad to see something about this. While I don’t live in one of the three towns mentioned in the threat, I do live in a neighboring town, and was very surprised to see on Facebook that folks just about everywhere in RI are keeping their kids home from school “just in case”. What if its a deterrent to keep the authorities at one school while another is attacked?
    Maybe it makes me a bad parent, but I didn’t even consider that as an option. Same thing with last week’s entrovirus scare. There were news reporters clogging up my neighborhood asking “aren’t you concerned about this virus?” Yes, I am concerned. But I can’t live in a bubble. Schools are doing what they feel is necessary to be on the alert (police presence, indoor recess, cancelling walk to school day). Unless you plan on homeschooling your child for the rest of his school career, there’s really no point in keeping him home for a couple of days, especially during this time when the schools have “bunkered down”.
    There was a great article about a Newtown mom’s Facebook post where she stated that she can’t keep her kids under a rock, and you face these things with common sense as they arise. Be diligent, but keep calm and send your kids to school.

  52. marie October 9, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Buzzing the schools front door and having to state your name or whatever isn’t stopping anyone.

    If I remember correctly, Sandy Hook had a buzz-in system in place. Not very effective. So what are our local districts doing? Installing buzz-in systems.

  53. Warren October 9, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    The way I see it, is the authorities actually wrote this off as a prank. But just so the soccer moms wouldn’t be screaming about not doing anything, they posted a cop at the school.

    Easier to post one cop, to shut everybody up.

  54. Erika October 9, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Jules wrote:

    folks just about everywhere in RI are keeping their kids home from school “just in case”.

    But that’s RI for you, right? Small state, and in some ways there’s a mentality that anything that happens to one town could happen to another. (But don’t make me drive from East Bay to West Bay! Too far!)

  55. Rhode Island Mom October 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    @Eika So true! Lol!

  56. Papilio October 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    “”I’d make a point of being home that day at that time with two of my friends, Mr. Remington and Mr. Glock.”

    That would certainly qualify as a reasonable precaution. ;)”


  57. NicoleK October 10, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    When I was a kid in the 80s, people would call in bomb threats to our schools. The fire alarm would go off and we’d go outside and the firemen would check it out. It was always some kid wanting to get out of class, or just a prank.

    These are nothing new. As long as it’s not raining!

  58. KH October 11, 2014 at 1:50 am #

    The creepy thing about this story is that I’ve just seen it in a SWISS German-language newspaper headline… But the headline was “Decapitation threats in 2 US primary schools”! As if it were a proven threat, as if it should be of interest to people thousands of miles away… Even the generally level-headed Swiss might start to think the world is a really dangerous place.

  59. KH October 11, 2014 at 2:00 am #

    Having followed the German article back to the English source, I have to at least give them credit for saying “FEAR of Beheadings at US Primary Schools”– the original article starts with “Beheading of..students… ”

    Right, I will go stick my head under the pillow now.



  60. writerofthesky October 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    I happen to be a student at one of the elementary schools in that area, so I’ll just dish out what’s been going on:
    -For the entire week, we’ve had indoor recess.
    -Police cars are parked around the school, along with several officers and a K-9 unit inside the building.
    -It’s a huge distraction to our education, and I’m sure that all the younger kids are absolutely terrified.
    I’m so DONE with this.