I got a text from Ben on Wednesday morning that read “FYI we’re in lockdown. My class is safe.” Apparently someone called and made threats of violence against Essex High School, so the entire school went into lockdown mode for almost three hours, while rumor swirled.
There wasn’t much more information on the outside, as news outlets just circulated the same basic story. I was stuck at work, which was actually a great distraction, but I was preoccupied all day, constantly refreshing the Burlington Free Press website for updates, worrying about the what-ifs.
Thankfully, police and a bomb squad ensured the safety of everyone in the school, and Ben came home Wednesday afternoon, but it was a scary, weird day. When you see this kind of stuff on the news, you never think it could happen to you.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time Ben and I have been in this sort of situation; we lived in the Boston area in 2013, and he worked downtown. After the marathon bombings, he was stuck at his office, and I was in Watertown. Cell phones weren’t working and I had to call his office to get a hold of him to make sure he was ok.
And we were in Watertown the night the Tzarnaev brothers led police on a high-speed chase down Mt. Auburn Street. We had just gotten back to our apartment from dropping my sister off at Logan and Ben said “I think those are gunshots.” And I said, “No way, it’s just firecrackers.” And then there was an explosion, and we hid in our basement for 2 hours, listening to police scanner apps on our phones. And then spent the entire next day on lockdown along with all the other citizens of Boston.
I am very grateful for the quick, decisive action of the school district and local law enforcement for keeping the students and teachers safe. Now I just hope they find the bastard who called in those threats.