I Got An Active Threat Text From My Daughter’s College Today
So there I was at about quarter to 3 this afternoon, scrambling to get everything done before I had to jump on the air — trying to fight off what I hoped was allergies all day, but was looking more like a cold — and collecting my thoughts about what I was going to talk about on the show today. All of a sudden, the text notification went off on my phone. I checked it, and it was from my daughter's college.
Active threat on campus. If on campus, barricade door and hide. Avoid windows. Run, if option. Avoid campus. Wait for instructions.
Oh, s--t. Here we go.
The next 45 minutes were spent alternating texting with my daughter and with my ex-wife, who was also texting with her, refreshing social media and googling: "active threat (school) campus." Oh yeah, and trying to keep a radio show on the air.
She was locked inside a professor's office down an out of the way corridor, which was probably a good place to be.
Within 45 minutes, we got the "all clear" text, but not before a garbled, sketchy looking "all clear" message came through first that was obviously hastily assembled, incorrectly coded and filled with question marks. And according to my daughter, the "thinking face" emoji on some phones. This obviously did nothing for the students' peace of mind, and most of them wisely stayed barricaded where they were until police or SWAT came to get them.
The good news is that this was a false alarm or at least no threat to the students. The police in her town were on the scene instantly and handled it very efficiently. For once, one of these things ended well.
While it was unfolding, all I could think about was my daughter. My kiddo, who liked baseball for a couple of years because her dad did. My kiddo, who inherited my love of music and has been going to concerts by herself since she was in junior high. My kiddo, who before graduating from college, has been in two full, code red, "active threat" situations. That's crazy.
As I was searching for information, I was surprised to find that Twitter dealt with the situation in a much more compassionate and concerned manner than Facebook did. People that responded on Twitter seemed like they were genuinely concerned and trying to pass along whatever information they could. Any Facebook post about the situation instantly dissolved into the usual, shrill "Trump-tard" vs "Snowflake" argument, and before the situation was even resolved, the tinfoil hat brigade was posting things like "Classic diversion. Be vigilant, Patriots." Yeah, thanks. I don't know what that means in the grand scheme of things, but it struck me as funny. Funny "hmmmm," not "funny ha-ha."
I'm not sure what my point is in telling you this. I'm not out to start a debate or even give you my thoughts on it, because there's no way to do that without starting another dumb social media debate like the one I described above, from one side or the other. I also don't do that kind of show. I play Zeppelin records and talk about upcoming concerts. All I will say is we ought to be smart enough to figure something out that doesn't trample anybody's rights but still gets us to a point that this isn't an everyday occurrence somewhere. I go to bed tonight cranking on adrenaline, and thankful that my daughter and her friends are OK and that this one ended the right way.