Last week there was a threat posted online regarding one of the high schools in our district. The threat was serious enough that the district decided to close the school in question for the day while they could investigate the post and try to identify the person responsible. All of the other schools in the district remained open, most with extra security.
An email was sent by the district office that morning to all families, including the elementary school families. The email arrived around breakfast time and gave a brief overview of the situation. The last sentence of the email was as follows, “Please take this opportunity to give your child an extra hug this morning!”
What? Didn’t you just say in the message above that there wasn’t anything to be concerned with at the other schools in the district, but now you just inferred that something might happen to my child. Personally I wasn’t worried about the threat spilling over to Jack’s school until I read that sentence. I felt that it was terribly inappropriate. I understand the intent of the statement, but someone needed to think about what it inferred.
Not long after the email, I started receiving text messages from my friends asking if I was sending Jack to school. Even at the bus stop we weren’t talking about the threat, we were talking about the email and specifically that sentence. So I wasn’t the only one that was questioning the appropriateness of the message.
Later that day, the district determined that it would be safe to open the school in question the next day and issued a press release. In the release they give an update on the investigation and said that they will have increased security at school. Here is the exact statement “We have put a plan in place that gives us confidence to invite you to campus and resume classes tomorrow, although we can never guarantee with 100-percent certainty that our school will be safe.”
Did they just say that in a written statement? Although it is technically a true statement, you don’t say it out loud. Who wrote that and thought it would be OK to say to the community? An interesting note is that when I went to find the release today, it was gone. Maybe I wasn’t the only one that thought it was inappropriate.