Photo courtesy Poughkeepsie Journal
Little Pine Plains, New York was the lead story on most New York newscasts today; a father townpeople described as 'troubled' brought a gun into the local middle school, assembled it in a boy's bathroom and burst into the principal's office. He held the principal there for two hours as police and SWAT teams surrounded the building.
A twelve year old kid was in the guidance office, phoning his mom to bring in his homework.
He told reporters he hid under a desk for two hours, then spotted police outside the window and made a sign telling them the gunman was there and how many people were in the office. They wrote a sign in response, telling him to jump out the window. He did.
There was plenty of speculation about what led to the incident, but what struck me was that kid.
"How did you know what to do?" I asked him.
"Boy Scouts," he said. "And I have a brother in the Army so I know some things."
I wouldn't have been surprised had he said "TV" or even "video games."
Maybe that could be the one upside to the torrent of crime shows we call entertainment. This boy kept his head, even though he acknowledged he was scared to death. He figured out how to get help and he even thought to empty the change out his pockets as he snuck to that window so no one would hear him.
What was his mom's reaction, besides the obvious relief and a bit of pride?
"I wish he did that well with his schoolwork."