It is 4:30 do you know where your child is

By: Carolyn Hileman

The cars are lined up in single file in parking lots and in the school parking lot, just another day in the life of a parent, a life filled with waiting, waiting for them to be born, waiting for them to talk and walk, waiting for them to go to school and now waiting for them to get out of school. Minutes tick by and then an hour ticks by and not one student has stepped from the building, worried parents started calling the school, but there is no answer. So they wait even longer firmly resolving that in the morning they would have words with that principle. Parents start getting out of their cars, walking around, even pacing back and forth, no one says a word to anyone for fear that the silence would be broken by bad news.

Finally after what seems like years text messages start trickling in some with pictures and some without, you can hear the faint inaudible sound of one of the mothers crying and you comfort yourself by thinking, they all behaved so poorly that they are being held over, even though you know that you are wrong. You clutch your cell phone to your heart praying for it to ring. Then you hear it, the unmistakable sound of a mother wailing out in pain and you know this is not going to be an ordinary day after all. You try to think what was you child wearing and why did you make her go to school when you knew she wasn’t feeling well, ring you damn phone, ring. Maybe she didn’t carry it; maybe it is in her room, maybe, ring phone ring…

Someone finally calls the police and they dispatch a car, he takes one look around at the cars all around him and calls for backup. He talks to some of the parents reads the text messages and views the pictures and calls for SWAT. There are pictures of children who have been tied up and he thinks he spotted blood in one of the photos, he tries calling to inside the school with his loud speaker and still he hears no sound. He fears that that the door has been booby trapped so he does not try to enter. SWAT has finally arrived but they are only standing around talking, they point at different spots on the building and you wish you knew what they were saying; it is quiet, too quiet.

Every single day in America, there is construction being done at the schools, there are people walking in and out of schools across the country and many times no one even knows they are there. You want to believe your child is safe; you want to believe it could never happen, but you know deep down in your gut that the school you’re child goes to is not. You have hard rumors o possible terrorist attacks on schools, read every article about the school shootings but some how until today you have managed to push it out of your head, you have managed to believe it couldn’t happen here, but today it did and you are noticing for the first time perhaps that the local police are not trained for this and you wonder what will happen.

The police know exactly what to do in a hostage situation where they are making demands, but have no idea what do when it is totally silent, when their only motive is to kill the children. If they burst though the door it may be wired, they do not know where the children are being held and to rush the school would cause casualties to mount and since they do not know how many are in there, they just stare blankly at the door almost willing the children to come walking out, you can tell them that doesn’t work since you have been doing that for what seems like an eternity. A car backfires and you are jolted awake, or are you, it is 4:30 do you know where your child is?

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About The Author Carolyn Hileman:
The Voice

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