“Didn’t you hear about it?” my daughter asked the other morning as I drove her to middle school. “There was some kind of threat to the high school.” “If it was serious, I’m sure they would have closed it,” I said with as much false bravado as I could muster.
As we rolled up to drop-off, I gave my youngest the usual pre-school advice: run or ambush (hide and be ready to attack). “The school says don’t get caught in the corridors if there’s a lockdown,” she informed me. “I’m hoping I am in the corridor so I can run.” That’s my girl.
Truth be told, my child’s odds of surviving a school shooter depend on an uncertain combination of her avoidance or attack strategy; a prompt, effective police response; and blind luck.
That’s not enough. For one thing, there’s no guarantee that it will be one shooter. Or that the perp will be a disaffected teen. It could well be a coordinated assault by trained terrorists. The slaughter would make Sandy Hook look like a JV terrorist team warm-up.
Here’s an excerpt from the high school principal’s 1:45am email dealing with the threat:
Yesterday evening, I informed you that we had information on a potential threat to Westlake High School by a WHS student. As soon as the information became known to our high school administration, we immediately began working with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and Austin Police Department to assess the threat. The following information has more detail, and what we know now, as of 1:45 a.m.
We received reports yesterday from students and parents that a teenage male had made statements indicating that he was going to do harm to others at Westlake HS. We immediately shared the identity of that individual with the authorities, who have been working with us cooperatively through late evening and early morning to locate this individual and investigate the allegations.
At this time, we can report that the student who made the threat has been located and is being evaluated. Westlake HS will continue to work with law enforcement as those agencies determine what actions they need to pursue, if any. Based on information received from law enforcement, we do not believe that any students or staff members are in danger, and, as such, plan to resume school as usual on Thursday.
We understand that this type of an event can be troubling to many in our community. As I said in my message last night, we understand if parents want to keep their student(s) at home. We will honor parents’ decisions regarding their child’s attendance today. In order to provide support, we will ensure that counselors make their schedules open so that they are available to talk to students this morning, if any student feels a need for such support.
We thank the Austin Police Department and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work to quickly assess the situation, investigate, and work with Westlake HS staff on safety measures. We also thank the West Lake Hills Police for reaching out to us to provide additional support.
I want to reiterate how proud I am of the young adults in our community who acted quickly in alerting us to this potential situation.
Yeah, well, how quickly would the school react if the potential attacker hadn’t been detected and intercepted? What could they do anyway? It would be up to the adults to protect them. Are they ready? Hell no.
I don’t think I’m violating OpSec to reveal that my local school’s adults are unarmed and defenseless. It should have armed teachers, administrators and/or staff, trained to deal with a lethal threat or threats. As the old expression goes, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away — and my daughter’s life is on the line.
I want an immediate effective counter-attack against murderers violating the school’s “gun free zone.” Why is that so hard to understand?
Because guns. Here in the liberal heart of this conservative state, no one’s even talking about “allowing” teachers, administrators, staff or (God forbid) parents to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
When I suggested opening a discussion on the subject, including hardening what is a ridiculously soft target, the principal looked at me like I had pin lice on my eyebrows. When I inadvertently exposed my empty holster at a school function, I was called to one side, politely interrogated and gently but firmly rebuked.
It will take a tragedy of epic proportions to open their eyes. I just hope my daughter isn’t amongst the victims, and work for the day when she can depend on the adults around her to man up, tool up and shut up. And the day when she can be armed in her own defense, and the defense of other innocent life.