Suspicious Letter Forces JFK Lockdown
Local, state and federal law enforcement officials are investigating an incident that forced the lockdown of John F. Kennedy Middle School Monday afternoon.
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#1 Mar 11, 2012
Just as I was responding to the email I received regarding the white powder (that was not hazardous according to the FBI), my telephone rang and it was yet another message telling me the substance was harmless. I saw the news of this incident on t.v., read about it in the papers, had mail from your office, and again confirmation that it was harmless. This was a sick prank and I commend you for your thorough investigation. However, l could not help but contrast the effort the BOE made in following through with this threat and the lack of public notifications regarding the hazardous illegal/legal drugs that are in harms reach everyday inside the corridors of our Enfield schools. The later dangerous substances appear to be non-consequential to the staff, and not to be discussed openly as it could tarnish the image of the school or the reputation of a family (or perhaps a law-suit!). I never saw it addressed at a BOA meeting, nor did it ever appear on a Faculty Meeting Agenda in my many years of employment with the school system. Young kids are so impressionable, curious, immature and easily led by their peers, and find no dangers in experimenting with mind-altering drugs. Thankfully, most of them move on and look back and laugh about their foolishness.
Many of them can not if they become addicted. Addiction has been proven to be a disease for most of my lifetime, yet the school nurses, administrators and other adult employees were extremely cautious and confidential about the presence of these drugs and the students who were experimenting. More effort was made to check for head lice, scoliosis, pink eye or other contagions, yet peer pressure presents more "contagions" than anything else. Gradually I am seeing a few schools becoming more pro-active about this danger and I am encouraged, but will also wonder if there isn't more we could do if only we would break away from the stigma and realize that this is a problem far greater than a kid just being a kid, while the adults look the other way. In this toxic culture parents need all the help they can get to send positive messages. It truly takes a village to raise a child.
Thank you for listening to my rant. Hope Rice
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