So, during our playtime today one of my first graders came to me and said she'd found a knife. Of course I immediately went with her to get it, but
in the back of my mind I thought it would be a pocket knife.
We find all sorts of things on the playground, because the community has access to it. Condoms (so gross), beer bottles, trash, even Jon's nametag
from Wing Street. You just never know what you'll find. So I wasn't really that concerned about a knife.
The knife we found was NOT a pocket knife. In fact, the thing looked downright deadly. I measured the blade, from tip to shaft it was approx 14
inches long, with a slight serrated edge. This picture is pretty close to what it looked like.
The knife was hidden in the roots of a tree, covered with leaves. I asked how in the world the child had seen it; she said she saw something shiny
and that's how it was found.
I turned it in to the principal, of course, but I've been worried about this all day. Did a student hide this knife? My school is K-5, so I can
kinda see an older kid hiding this thing after school. Maybe as a way to impress his friends, you know. Do the whole Crocodile Dundee thing: "Now,
THIS is a knife." But what if they hid it to use it?
Or what if it was someone from the community who put it there? If so....why? Why hide a knife on a playground? Hoping a child finds it and hurts
themselves? Planning some kind of kamikaze attack during recess?
My school is in a very rough neighborhood. We've been in lockdown before because of a gunman on campus (he was there to shoot his ex wife, luckily
she didn't show up). So we have our share of crazies, and a lot of custody disputes ongoing. Maybe that's what this is about....
So I'm on heightened alert right now, and I got in a little trouble for it. A stranger was walking down the hallway while my kids were having a
restroom break, and he hadn't signed in to the office to get a VISITOR sticker. This is a huge no-no, so I confronted him. I was nice, but told him
he had to go sign in. He complained to my principal, but I don't care. The rules are there for a reason.
So now I'm a nervous nelly. What do you think, ATS? Is this just one of those things that happen, or is this cause for greater concern?
Regardless, I and my fellow teachers will be MUCH more vigilant in the days to come.