Reflecting: Terrifying Week for Atherton and Davison Schools
The week of October 24th has proven to be a stressful, even terrifying week for many students, parents, teachers, bus drivers, faculty and emergency responders around Genesee County. Granted we didn't have a school shooting like Oxford did one year ago... or even St. Louis, MO last week. No, our community hell presented itself in a bevy of ways.
First Atherton Community Schools deals with the news of a wildly inappropriate relationship between a student and long-time teacher only to be followed by a tech-driven threat via AirDrop (iPhone feature) threatening more violence to come at school. That led to closure for the remaining week of 10/24 to be made up later.
The hell-week continued in Davison Community Schools after an incident that happened on October 19th came to light via a report from ABC12. In short, a high school senior kicked a middle schooler's head through a bus window -- and there was video. That situation is being investigated.
In the case of Atherton Schools, students return Monday 10/31 with new security measures in place. They'll have metal/weapons detectors and clear back-pack requirements among them. Without the sophistication or ability to afford TSA-level equipment, parents hope this will suffice.
When I was a kid, the most frequent "drills" were related to fire and tornado. Simply going outside or grabbing a book to put over your neck with your head down were the "trained solutions." Not quite the nuclear shelter plans from the Cold War era. Now, many kids show up wondering if today is "the day" at their school or if the bus ride home will be safe. The stress for parents, faculty and administrators can be worse -- they think about it all the time but have to appear strong for the children.
Full disclosure, I don't have kids. Nor do I work in a school. That said, I am human... with nieces and nephews... and concern for our community. My hope is the adults will read this and somehow find the words to express this generation's realities to their offspring. So, they'll be prepared -- while somehow finding the balance that allows them to be kids.
We as a community, and individuals, need to take a big step back for reflection. How can we do and be our best to ebb the horrifying trends happening in schools around the country and right here in Genesee and neighboring counties.
Genesee County has a few resources should you want extra help -- or maybe you're wondering if your child needs it.