I May Have Been An Emotional Wreck

Published On April 6, 2018 | By Carrie Buchanan |

Last night were parent-teacher interviews at my daughter’s high school – St. Pat’s.  My daughter might not always approve that my husband and I meet her teachers every year, every semester – but we do.  We like to get a handle on how she is doing from the teacher perspective, meet the person who is teaching them, and get a connection to them.

We walked away last night feeling proud of our daughter, and a reminder to her to study more.  (smile)

Within a few hours of being home, she told us there was a threat that someone was going to shoot up St. Pat’s on Friday.  And EVERYONE was talking about it.  Everyone was afraid and nobody was going to school on Friday because they were being told something terrible was going to happen.

I have to admit I wanted to brush it off as someone being dramatic.  But I instantly went online, searched my social media to see if any parents were talking about it, and checked out Blackburn News online.

The only incident I could find was the one from a few days ago in the Waterloo Region that effected a Chatham school as well.

There was no stopping it.  Other schools were connected.  Threatening messages were seen on other high school walls.

My daughter was afraid.

I know we see the headlines and we cry and get mad when we hear about school shootings.  Our hearts go out to the parents who have lost children. Our hearts go out to the kids who survive.

But this was the first time as a parent I was afraid too.  Because we know that we are not guaranteed that everything is indeed OK.

I assured her that it was fine.  It was a knee jerk reaction to other events close by.  I reminded her that people need to stop sharing stuff they don’t know is even true.  I kept asking “where is the proof?”

I admit that when I went to bed I had trouble sleeping.  I had seen no threat online.  I saw no reason for concern other than kids repeating something someone had repeated from someone else a hundred times.

I thought I did the right thing.  But as I went to bed I said a little prayer to keep my kids safe.  All the kids at that school safe.  I did not sleep well at all and I’m guessing that’s why.

It’s tough right?  As a parent you want to comfort, console, and reassure.  But the struggle is, you know you can’t promise anything.

I sent her to bed, hoping she would stop worrying and stay off the stupid social media.  In the morning I checked social media and the news page.  Hoping to not find confirmation of the rumours.

An email from Deb Crawford – Director of Education (sent at 12:30am) was sent to assure parents police had investigated.  There was no reason to worry.  A follow up email was sent in the morning including a statement from Sarnia Police.  I appreciate that so much as a concerned parent who really did not know the right way to respond.  I wanted to believe everything was ok ,but in this world there is no certainty anymore.

I did NOT want my daughter to be afraid but she said “mom, I’m afraid every day.  Even without this threat.  I think of those kids in those schools where shooters come in and imagine how scared they must have been. I am afraid.”

That is HARD to hear as a parent.  To know that this is just their reality.  Always a concern.  Always a reason to be afraid.  That’s the world we live in.  Our kids are afraid.  She said her friends were in tears they were so scared the threat was real.

As much as we have to take threats of any kind seriously, we also have to teach our kids the power of social media.  It built up this intense fear storm last night so quickly.  I’m thankful my daughter shares with me what she sees.  I’m thankful she trusts me enough to keep the conversations going and share things.

I was emotional today in sharing this with our sister station CHOK on the Talk Show with Sue Storr.

I’m appreciative that the situation was taken care of so quickly by both the school and Sarnia Police.

I never expected to be dealing with that situation but I got a taste of it last night.

What are your thoughts?  How do you help your kids not be afraid of the world?

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