“Mom, I have something for you from school,” my 7-year-old announced last night. He gravely handed me a letter in a sealed envelope.
Ever the encouraging & positive mom, I asked: “Did something happen? Are you in trouble?”
“No,” he replied.
I opened the envelope to find a letter typed on school stationery. It’s the type of letter no parent ever wants to read.
“Yesterday afternoon, an incident occurred on school grounds and it is now under police investigation.”
The letter was written in vague terms/ A strange man who tried to enter school grounds. Assurances that he was unable to gain access to the inner courtyard. An investigation into the matter is underway. “Police and administration are working jointly to find the man.”
Great. I congratulated the guard this morning at the gate. Thank goodness nothing major happened.
Except I was wrong.
The letter didn’t detail the fact that the strange man, a pedophile, lured my son’s 7-year-old classmate to the gate and somehow violated the child. The letter didn’t use the words the press did when they ran with the story today: Sodomy. Rape.
The letter didn’t answer all the questions the bewildered parents are now asking each other, shoulders shrugged and foreheads creased in concern.
How on earth did this happen? How did noone notice? How is the child faring? How do we feel safe again?