Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Lock Down

I got locked inside an elementary school Tuesday afternoon. I arrived at the school at 2:45 to start up an afterschool program. All of the doors were locked and the blinds shut. The janitor let me in, along with the program leader and a bunch of parents. We were made to wait in the gym. The principal came in and explained that there was an incident at the Lougheed Mall, just a few blocks away, and that 4 local schools were in "lockdown" procedure.

The children stayed in their classrooms with their teachers. Parents and miscellaneous other adults like me stayed in the gym. A district principal showed up pretty soon to help keep order and answer parents' questions. At 3:20 the police phoned the school and said it was okay to dismiss the kids.

I found out later that a man tried to use a bad credit card at the mall. When a security guard confronted him he ran outside and fired a gun back at the guard. The police tried to find him but they were unsuccessful. The schools were locked down to eliminate the risk of fleeing gunman and pursuing police encountering kids walking home from the 3 elementary schools and one secondary school near the mall.

By 3:40 the children had made it to the community room and they were beginning to assemble their treasure chests in Kids Construction. Our two volunteers had hurried over from the high school. Everything seemed to be back to normal.

question: what language do they speak in Thailand? Is it called Thai? There was a Thai Grandma who didn't speak English, but luckily one of the ESL teachers knew how to say "No problem" and that seemed to help her feel better...

mompoet - wondering about the world

No comments: