Saturday, September 06, 2008

Outrage, but With Vengeance

My girlfriend called last night and informed me that her daughter had brought home a letter from the school district. Apparently, someone in our neighborhood was posing as a school district official, knocking on doors, and asking if any kids lived in the home. He said that he was there to take children to their tutoring session. The smart folks he called upon reported him to the police, who tried but couldn't find him. The police informed the school district of the incident.

Here's the outrage part. Her son, and my son, are in the gifted program, so they do not go to their respective neighborhood schools. The school district chose to send letters home to three neighboring elementary schools, and both of our neighborhood schools were on the distribution list. The school that both of our sons go to, three miles as the crow flies down the street, WAS NOT INFORMED. Neither was the high school, which is outrageous, as many high school children babysit, and the incident happened close to the high school too.

Our district subscribes to a website called, which is a website that has the capability to push emails out to registered users, in cases of emergency. Our district uses it as a "pull" resource - meaning parents have to go to the website and read any information posted. Unfortunately, the district has chosen only to use this website for school closure information, so it isn't useful as an emergency notification system. It's set up to use as such, though, and you can bet I'll be at the school board meeting on Wednesday requesting (ok, demanding) that they start using it in this manner going forward.

I took the letter that was sent out to the few schools, and emailed it to our local TV news stations, along with a request that they get the word out that there was an attempted child luring in our neighborhood. As I didn't get a response right away, I figured it wasn't deemed newsworthy; who am I to judge what should be on The News?

However! I got a call on my cell phone this morning from a reporter who was very kind, and who told me "I think this is a very important story, and I'd like to come to your home and interview you if that's ok." EEP! I reluctantly agreed, and she suggested I call other parents who felt the same way, so she could interview them, too. I called my friend, who called a couple of her friends, and three of us are going to be on the news tonight. Along with my neighbor's "Everywhere Bush" (that's a technical news term, the cameraman told us), and anonymous shots of our kids playing on the swing set.

The interview was quick and dirty, and focused on feelings. I wanted to raise my fist and demand ACTION from the police and the school district, but I decided to play it cool and save my vehement protest for the school board meeting. See you there?

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