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Sign of the times

Editorial

 


When small talk between two guys outside a sports event can be interpreted as a terrorist threat, you know we’re not living in our fathers’ time.

No, we live in an age that seems to be increasingly dominated by both fear and the unwavering conviction that we all have the absolute right to be kept safe from every threat, two conditions that often seem to rub up against each other hard enough to cause sparks.

While the perception that we have a constitutional right to be kept safe, even from our own stupidity, has been fertilized by the courts for decades, the fear part has really taken hold over the last 14 years. Heaven help the poor public servant in the age of 9/11 who might be seen as not pandering hard enough to victims of either malady, especially if the scenario involves children.

Such was the case last Friday, when school officials decided to stay calm and continue to educate children. See the story on the front page. Some parents thought that because police were looking into a rumor of a possible threat, they all should have been notified immediately. Because the kids were never in danger, officials thought, everybody should just keep doing their jobs — teachers teaching, students learning. Instead, they simply sent home a reassuring note to explain what had happened, and they posted it on Facebook.

Some panicked parents responded with vitriol-filled posts about the ineptitude of those who had kept their kids safely behind locked doors instead of robo-calling the parents of 600-plus kids with a panic-inspiring recorded message.

I don’t know about yours, but I know what my father would have thought.

Scott Hunter

editor and publisher

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