It’s been a rough week in our small town. I call our town small, but really it isn’t. Our town has grown much in the last 10 years, with large parcels of land being sold to developers and homes upon homes being built. However, I still consider us a small town. I grew up here when it was considered the boonies. We still have a parade on the 4th of July where people set up lawn chairs weeks in advance. Those chairs will sit on the parade route unmolested until the actual parade. When something happens, like a house fire, our community rallies behind that family immediately, helping replace anything that they may need. This is why I still consider us a small town.
On Thursday May 19, a teacher at our high school was senselessly beaten over the head and strangled while in his classroom after school was let out for the day. Luckily, he was able to stagger out of the classroom to be discovered by another staff member. The school went on lockdown for the next 3 hours while they searched for the suspect. Thankfully my son was home for the evening, but other kids and staff were not. Mercifully the teacher’s injuries were not very serious and he was released from the hospital that evening.
Of course, in this day and age of social media and electronics, rumors began to fly about the attack before the lock down was even lifted. Rumors of what was used to attack him and who may have done it abounded online and over texts. Some students began to make a joke out of the situation. Thankfully most students shamed those idiots and reported them to police. If you have the balls to make fun of a situation like this, they may know something about the attacker and deserve to have the cops knock on your door.
Most of the students were in complete shock, as was our entire community. School was cancelled for Friday because that area of the school was considered an active crime scene. My son used it as a day of reflection and also a day to catch up on some homework. I kept asking him how he was doing, and he would reply “I’m fine.” He did not actually take any classes from the teacher that was assaulted, so I think it really didn’t hit him very hard. Those students who actually had classes with the teacher and the staff have been hit the hardest. The district brought in counselors for the staff on Friday so that they would be ready to support students when they returned to class today. I’m so glad they did!
Of course, the police have brought in the FBI to help with the investigation, but four days later, they still do not have a suspect. They have been poring over countless security tapes from the school and from buses that were at the school around the time of the attack, collecting evidence and conducting interviews. It all takes time, but I believe the community is chomping at the bit for information, to no avail. I myself have been trying to support the students that I drive as well as my own family through this horrific event. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen in our town, this kind of stuff happens in big cities. (Famous last words, right!?!) Personally, I am hoping that this was a random act of a crack head rather than a student or ex-student. I think it would just be better for the community and for our students if this was truly a indiscriminate act.
Today, when I drove my bus into the BHS bus load zone, I saw extra police, security and teachers everywhere and lots and lots of BHS Blue. All the teachers have shown exceptional poise throughout this entire process. Even the teacher that was attacked has been very appropriate considering the circumstances. He released a statement thanking the community for their support. He appeared on the news tonight and I was so proud because he is refusing to become a victim. He said he would be back at work as soon as they let him. Makes me proud to live in our district and be a home town girl. I refuse to become a victim and so has he. What a great example for my kids.
Here’s hoping that they catch the person who did this horrible thing soon!