Okay, we all need a day off. It's time for us to fold up our tents and move on up the road, getting ready for that long stretch hall we call 2016. Those of us in elementary education are gleeful at the moment of disembarkation, teachers, students, administrators. The only ones that are perhaps less full of the joy of this season are the parents, who have discerned that they now face half a month of their progeny 24/7. The four hundred plus children that make our school their home away from home five days out of every week will now be camped out at home while we all take a much needed break from one another.
That is as it should be. But in the City of Angels last week, students in that district got an unexpected bonus to their Christmas Break. That is because authorities needed all of last Tuesday to search more than one thousand campuses for what they had been told by "credible sources" was a threat of some nefarious goings-on. I can remember back in my youth in what was a more relaxed time in the suburban setting of Boulder, Colorado where there was the occasional joker who would pull a fire alarm to keep him from having to take that physics test. There were even those who we heard about who went to the extreme of calling in a bomb threat to get everyone out on the back lawn for an hour while the expected thorough investigation took place.
That was before Columbine. Now any sort of threat puts parents, students and staff on high alert. Schools in Los Angeles reopened the next day, but not until every student in the nation's second largest school district got an extra day off. A day to sit around and wonder how credible "an email routed through Germany" can really be. Two weeks after the events in San Bernardino, nerves were a little frayed just down the road. Closing the schools just in case ISIS wanted to send a little holiday message to the unbelievers seemed like a pretty good idea. Err on the side of caution, anyway.
Like in the event of a hurricane, or some other natural disaster, we now close schools not on account of inclement weather, but terrorist threats. Every time we have to close the schools because of a threat, the terrorists win. And so does that guy with the physics test.