I never thought I would see the day that my children would be afraid to go to school.....and it wasn't because of a test or unfinished homework....but for their physical safety. Friday September 28, 2007 many students of Carlton Comprehensive High School stayed home out of fear for their lives......Carlton has a student body of about 2000 kids....from what we have heard there was only about 300 students in school that day. My youngest daughter received a phone call from a friend telling her that she wasn't going to school because another girl was told by her volleyball coach that it wouldn't be a good idea to go to school on Friday.
What caused this mass fear in students, parents and everyone. The weekend prior an 18 year old student from Carlton was killed by 5 youth 14 - 16 years old......there was talk about gang turf wars, gang initiation, that after a court appearance of two of the youth charged there was going to blood shed.......the clincher was that there was going to be a retaliation for the death of the youth...with threats of a school shooting not just at Carlton but at each high school. With rumors like this going around it is hard to act as if nothing is wrong....I think we need to hear that they know for certain these are rumors and nothing will happen....but they couldn't tell us that nothing would happen only speculate that it would be alright.
I called the school on Friday morning to talk with a principle about this issue. Apparently I wasn't the only parent with concerns, I told them that I was keeping my kids out of school for the day and that yes these are probably just rumors but what if it is true and something happens. I heard from someone who seen it themselves around 9am they went to pick up their son from school to find police posted at each entrance to the school, from what we heard they were there for the start of school, lunch time and after school. The fear was unbelievable, kids were being called, receiving emails and text messages from their friends saying don't go to school.....its not safe...there will bloodshed today......The police stated on the radio that these are rumors but they are taking them serious, doing extra patrols in the area, talking with staff and students to stay on top of the situation. It is hard to keep everything business as usual in cases like these.
I have been afraid of many things in my life but nothing like the fear I felt on Friday for the safety of my children and the others in the school. We always hear about school shootings and gang wars on the news and we always think it will never happen here but it can happen here. Thank God it didn't happen here on Friday. I am sure like many others I was in constant prayer that day for the safety of my kids, the staff & students at Carlton not just for Friday but for every day.
I am grateful that nothing happened and it seems it was only rumors. I am grateful that the Prince Albert Police force recognized that at the time they deemed them only as rumors but they still increased their patrol at the school and was watching out for the safety of everyone.
Now back to our normal life.....but it will never be normal....the way it used to be. I know my kids are watching more and like I told them if they feel there is danger get out of there without thinking twice.