Terrifying Holiday Spirit
Typically December is a welcoming, albeit busy, time. Between shopping and preparing for holiday meals and parties, our attention might be diverted but generally in a positive way. I mean how stressful is it to choose what outfit to wear to a holiday soiree?
Unfortunately this December hasn’t been full of holiday parties and family dinners. On Dec. 2, we were riveted to our televisions watching events unfold in San Bernardino. At the end, 14 people were slaughtered. This was hard-hitting for me as the sister-in-law of one of my family members was one who had to shelter in place when the massacre unfolded. She was in an adjacent building, waiting anxiously to hear the words of police officers that it was safe to leave the building.
Then on Tuesday we were on alert again when the LAUSD cancelled all classes, closing all of its campuses after receiving a threat that authorities at the time deemed was credible. Over 600,000 students were affected. At the GUSD school where my granddaughter attends two parents called in to say that they weren’t bringing their little ones to school. I don’t know how many parents throughout the GUSD decided to keep their kids close by on Tuesday, but it’s understandable. It didn’t really matter whether GUSD had been threatened; it wasn’t impossible to think that the attention was drawn to the LAUSD when somewhere else was the real target.
One of the overwhelming thoughts that entered my mind on Tuesday was what kind of maniac threatens children. Children! I guess the same ones who enter a holiday party and kill the people who just months ago held a baby shower for you.
While we collectively heaved a sigh of relief that Tuesday’s threat was a hoax, we learned that New York City had received a similar threat, though those city leaders responded differently than L.A.’s. What I found distasteful (if not outright maddening) was that New York City Police Commissioner (and L.A.’s former police chief) Bill Bratton had the gall to chastise the LAUSD for its response calling it a “significant overreaction.” He did qualify the comment by saying that it appeared that the LAUSD reacted before contacting LAPD.
Come on, Commissioner Bratton! The southland is still reeling by the massive shooting in San Bernardino. Isn’t it understandable if we’re all a bit more protective? And I’m sure no one wants to be responsible for anyone – especially children – being put in danger.
Were there lessons to be learned? Absolutely. Locally there has to be better communication between the GUSD, Glendale police and the Sheriff’s Dept. because we’re not all under the jurisdiction of Glendale PD here in the foothills – a fact that too often is forgotten.
I pray that the remainder of 2015 is uneventful. I know that I am not alone in hoping that 2016 is a “sweet ’16.”