This letter is in response to the recent, “Secure and Hold at four Lynn Schools.” I am a parent of a Lynn Tech Freshman. As a parent, it is a bit concerning when your child texts you stating, “We can’t leave, I don’t know why, nobody will tell us. Do you know what’s going on? I’m a little scared.” I told him that I didn’t, but I would try to find out. After calls to Lynn Tech, the Lynn Police Department, and the mayor’s office, I was still in the dark. Myself, as well as several other parents, were out in front of the school wondering if we were in danger, considering our children were locked inside, unable to leave. The LPD stated that, if I had any safety concerns, I should leave the area. I honestly didn’t know if I should have been concerned, because I had no knowledge of the situation. I may just be speaking for myself, but I do not think there are many parents who would leave their children behind when dealing with an unknown threat.
My question is why, as a parent, can’t we be kept informed? It was a very strange feeling to be told I could not access my child and, in addition, not be given any information as to what the danger was or how long they would be locked inside. One hour, two hours, overnight? Where are the guidelines on school lockdowns? I’ve never fully agreed with this huddle-in-fear policy, but I don’t remember ever being asked. Let us not forget our not too distant history of 9/11. How many more people perished because they were told to return to their offices and stay put until further instructions. If we are going to terrify and traumatize our children to spare them terror and trauma, I for one, would like to know the guidelines for these lockdowns and secure and hold situations and my rights as a parent during these situations. I will end this with a Crystal Eastman quote, “A good deal of tyranny goes by the name of protection.”