Code White

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Friday we go into Code White, a lock-down. Not a drill. Some kid was apparently bringing a gun to school, planning to kill some other kid. I spent a few minutes afterwards comforting a security guard who was unraveling because she had realized that a number of students, including the intended victim, had known this might happen.

“What was he thinking?” she said. “He knew this was going to happen and he came to school.” The guard’s eyes were filled with as-yet unshed tears. I told the guard what the lunch lady told me when I collapsed in the lunchroom last week: “Hand it to Jesus.”

I was in gym when the lockdown occurred, picking up straggling students. Then I got to spend a long hour trying to quiet students in the gym, often without success. The students had all been expecting a championship soccer game and they were thoroughly amped up.

We have had too many drills, too. Code White has lost most of its credibility. I nonetheless got a few bodies out of line of the doorway, since my take was an intruder might start shooting there, taking advantage of the cover provided by the stairs and dumpsters.

Finally, the drama was over and we were released from lockdown. Afternoon activities were cancelled. I called off my three afterschool detentions for tardiness. I couldn’t coordinate with students since not all my kids were in gym, so no one ended up with weekend homework.

Academics lost this week.