Collateral damage.


The stories coming out of Ohio and Texas remain painful to watch.

For those of us who are not personally touched by the loss, it is impossible to imagine.

Trump’s teleprompter response, tone deaf and lacking in any vocal affect, was simply bizarre.

September will start the eighth school year since I retired from teaching.

As we turn the last corner of summer into August I got together this week with some of my ukulele-playing friends who will return to the classroom a week later than usual.

Why a week later?

Because my old school district is spending their limited dollars constructing what are the equivalent of air locks in every building. It is a security measure in case of an attempted entry by terrorists or a mad killer with an assault weapon.

They won’t be ready for the normal start of school, hence the delay.

To make up for it, next summer will be a week shorter.

At least the school board didn’t require classroom teachers to be locked and loaded.

I still recall the lock down drills we went through when I was in the classroom.

An announcement over the intercom.

I quickly gathered my students, some as young as five years old, under tables in a darkened room away from the front door as I reached around with my key to lock the door which could only be locked from the outside.

I was to try and keep them quiet for five minutes.

Good luck with that.

I quickly wrote down the names of students who were out of the room at the time.

Maybe with social worker.

Maybe in the toilet.

I always found this protocol strange since it seemed I was giving any possible intruder a list of kids to go look for.

Yet mostly I couldn’t help thinking what this all was doing to the heads of kids.

The fear.

I flashed back on my own school days when we had drop drills in preparation for nuclear war.

At the word “drop” we crawled under our desks, crouching with hands behind our heads to protects us from flying glass.

I always wondered why flying glass was what I needed to worry about if Los Angeles was the successful target of a Russian ICBM.

But the fear was part of the collateral damage of the Cold War.

It is the same collateral damage that neighborhood violence and mass shootings, random or racist inspired, is creating now.

3 thoughts on “Collateral damage.

  1. Fred, go to Google and type bullet and before you go any farther ³bulletproof backpack comes up. How to prepare for school in August of 2019: Bulletproof Backpacks in Demand as School Year Begins By Erin Murray Hillsborough County PUBLISHED August 8, 2019 @6:31 AM SHARE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. ‹ As back to school sales soar this week and upcoming weekend, one item on many parents lists will probably be a backpack. * Increase in sales for bulletproof backpacks * Heightened worry over recent mass shootings * Backpacks sold online, at stores like Walmart, Office Depot Inside Office Depots in the Bay Area, tucked next to regular book bags, are ones with a slightly different add-on. Guard Dog Security backpacks are bullet resistant. With school just days away and heightened worry over recent mass shootings, these book bags have been on more back-to-school shopping lists. ³We have seen an increase in sales and we typically do in the back to school time, now whether it is directly associated to a one to one with everything kind of going on in the news and we are not a 100 percent sure if it¹s again overlapping with back to school,² said Yasir Sheikh, CEO & President Guard Dog Security. They aren¹t cheap backpacks. Most will cost anywhere from $100 to $220. Licensed mental health counselor Shantala Boss encourages parents to have conversations with their children if they do plan on buying them. ³Well before buying something like that, I think it is important they have conversations with their kids about what is going on. So having those conversations based on developmental level and age of the child, whatever is appropriate. And then validating their child’s feelings about how they feel about school safety,² said Boss. It comes down to peace of mind and for some they may feel safer without products like this. Boss encourages people to find their comfort level and to be aware of their child¹s comfort level too. Sheikh maintains the backpacks are just an element to providing overall safety. ³Now schools are actively doing active shooter drills, if that is not an indication that you need to start having this conversation with your child, than we don¹t know what is. The backpack shouldn¹t start that conversation, the conversation is already started at the school level,² said Sheikh. These types of backpacks are sold online and at area stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Office Depot, and Walmart.

    PHOTOS PHOTOS First day of school for Hillsborough County students Hillsborough County11 months ago Few women applying for Hillsborough SRO positions Hillsborough County11 months ago LATEST NEWS

    From: Fred Klonsky Reply-To: Fred Klonsky Date: Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 11:52 AM To: Bob Lyons Subject: [New post] Collateral damage. Fred Klonsky posted: ” The stories coming out of Ohio and Texas remain painful to watch. For those of us who are not personally touched by the loss, it is impossible to imagine. Trump’s teleprompter response, tone deaf and lacking in any vocal affect, was simply bizarre. S”

  2. I remember those drills,Fred.

    I remember wondering if my desk was sufficient against “The Atom Bomb”…too.

    Humans continue to misapprehend the actual problem…getting under our desks will not address that.

    The Trump Regime is not the solution…to bullet proof backpacks for school kids.

  3. Trump can’t spell compassion …at his best.

    Narcissism is defined by an absence of empathy…Trump does not…care.

    Will the citizens of America realize that fact in time to prevent total disaster…is a good question.

    How are Americans able to resist Trump?…is a better question…in the face of a cowed Congress apparently on their knees.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s