A mother is accused of bursting into a high school classroom and helping her teen daughter beat up another student, even holding the other teen and instructing her child strike the girl in the face with a combination lock, police said. Shocking, right? The fact that it involves a mother and daughter. The fact that it took place in a classroom. The fact that it didn't happen down the hall from me.
The incident occurred last Thursday in Ohio. Not in an elementary school. Those factors kept me from simply walking out the door and taking a personal day. It reminded me of all the stories I have read about awful things happening inside classrooms. High school, college, elementary, preschool. It reminded me of the first thing I learned in teacher school: Give your kids a safe place to learn, and they will. The problem with that theory is that it doesn't take into account just how difficult it is to create a bubble, a safe haven inside a torrential world that exists just outside the doors decorated with construction paper hearts.
Whether or not this is part of some radical anti-bullying campaign in the Buckeye State, it made me tired and sad to think about all the time and effort that will now be required to generate a new bubble inside that high school. In that town. In the state. We have only recently begun to imagine solutions to the challenges of keeping our kids safe from crazed gunmen entering our schools. Now we have to turn out attention to how we keep our kids safe from crazed parents entering our schools.
I would love to say that way out here in California, in an elementary school, that I have never had to worry about such things. That wouldn't be true. That shouldn't be a surprise.