Last Friday, my 12-year-old called me from his cell phone. The typically forgetful pre-teen wanted to remind me to remind him that he had a note from school that I needed to read.
My first question was, "Are you in some kind of trouble?"
The answer was no.
I waited patiently at the bus stop. Then I waited patiently as my son dug through his backpack and fished out his letter.
The letter was from Prosser School District Superintendent Ray Tolcacher informing parents that there'd been rumors of a high school hit list and rumors of a student planning to bring a gun to school on Friday, April 20. Tolcacher's letter said the rumors appeared to be unfounded.
I was bothered, but gratefully kept my mouth shut. Instead, I asked my son what he thought.
"I'm scared," he said. "But I think it might just be rumors."
This past Monday, April 23, Prosser High students were evacuated due to a bomb threat.
By the time the building had been searched, it was too late for students to return to class.
This is nuts. Kids manipulate, it's what they do. And when Sunnyside and Davis High Schools went through their recent drama, it appears to me that some pretty bright kids in the valley wanted a piece of the action.
What a load of hooey.
Here's what I propose: if and when kids are caught making threats or the appearance of a threat, ensure that they get charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act. Let it go down on the permanent record books that the kid (or kids) are terrorists.
If you don't like that suggestion, then try this: involuntarily commit the kid (or kids) in a mental ward for 60 days.
I read a news report the other day that a student who made threats could be charged with some kind of serious charge, depending on the circumstances of the situation.
To heck with that. Forget the circumstances.
Lock 'em up and throw away the key. Either give them a permanent label as a terrorist or 60 long days to think about what they've done.
. Lynda Jo Gross can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail LGross@eaglenewspapers.com