Commentary

Matter of trust

School panic understandable up to a point, then it gets shameful

Friday was a sad day for Rockdale. No, the world didn’t “end,” whatever that means to you, but the 2012 part of the 2012-13 school term did, one day early.

Why? In large part because a surprising number of people chose to believe that well-known purveyor of revealed truth, the Internet/Social Media, instead of two of this community’s institutions who really should inspire trust and respect—the school district and the police.

It’s understandable that parents and guardians should feel queasy and protective over their kids at school in light of what happened two weekends ago in Newtown, Connecticut.

What’s not quite as understandable is that so many chose to believe vague, unsubstantiated, uninformed rumors over the past few days that “something was going to happen,” or had already happened, at Rockdale schools.

So many that it became a disruption and classes were canceled Friday.

Now, canceling the last day of classes before Christmas— not exactly famous for its pursuit of academics—is far from a tragedy. No, the sad part is that to believe the screeching Internet-iPhone background noise is to disbelieve school officials and police, who assured parents the safety of their children is their number one priority and that they had checked it all out and there was nothing to worry about.

The truth is, even with horrors like Newtown—please God that it never happens again—our children are safer at school than virtually anywhere else.

The Rockdale ISD, and Rockdale Police Department, are there to be relied upon for the things that really matter. That’s their job and they’re good at it. Why anyone would choose instead to believe the latest rumor from the medium which will some day inform you—if it hasn’t already—that you’ve won $500 million in the non-existent Bulgarian Lottery is beyond us.

It’s too bad so many don’t believe in fine institutions which have earned our trust over and again. Like G. K. Chesterton famously said in a different context: “When you stop believing it’s not that you believe in nothing, it’s that you believe in everything.”—M.B.


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2012-12-27 digital edition



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