What a difference a month makes.
School administrators and the Weston police are to be commended for their quick, appropriate and decisive response to the pellet gun incident at Weston High School earlier this week. It is obvious that Superintendent Colleen Palmer was correct when she told parents at a school security meeting Monday night that the district was learning from mistakes made during a lockdown at the high school on Feb. 27.
During the lockdown, there were communication issues, jurisdictional issues, and procedural issues. On Tuesday, when students and staff witnessed two students pointing what looked like it could be a high powered rifle at the high school, there were none of these issues.
The students involved were quickly identified, the weapons were confiscated, and both students and weapons were removed from the school campus, eliminating any danger to students and staff. Information was communicated quickly and clearly to parents, eliminating the dangers that can accompany rumors.
There is, however, a big question that remains unanswered. Put plainly: What on earth were these kids thinking?
They weren’t, obviously. But they — and every other man, woman, and child — have to start thinking — and thinking differently. Much like post-Sept. 11, when our worldview permanently shifted, so too post-Dec. 14 did our view of guns and schools and the terrifying connection that can be made between the two change forever.
There is no more “kids will be kids” when it comes to guns — even “fake” guns — and schools. There is no more “it was just a joke” when it comes to guns and schools. There is no more “this is a school discipline issue not a police matter” when it comes to guns and schools. There are no more empty threats when it comes to guns and schools — every threat must treated seriously, because we have seen the unimaginable imagined and carried out. And we never want to see it again.