Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Totally freakin' scary!!!!!!

I am completely freaked out. Today Marissa's school was under lock down for two hours. Hazmat came, CEMA, local police, county sheriffs, the fire department, EMT units...all with lights blazing. Barricades were set up, blocking all entrances to the school by anyone except emergency personnel. I received a call from Marissa's teacher first, telling me of the situation. Marissa is prone to be anxious in certain situations so of course, she called me to have to calm Marissa down. I was so thankful for that! All that she could tell me was that the school was under lockdown, noone could enter or leave, and that the student in question was not in Marissa's homeroom and the item brought in was NOT a gun. Next the school called with a recorded message saying that a student had brought in MERCURY and that several 5th grade students and a teacher had been exposed and were being evaluated by HazMat and EMT. Talk about freaked out!

I began searching online for info on what Mercury was, what it did, and why it was so bad. I couldn't really find out much, but a quick check to all 3 local news websites showed me that the news hounds were hot on the trail of this story. I called Jamie and let him know what was happening, and Debbie and Marty. Then I waited.

After what seemed an eternity, but was in reality only about an hour, Marissa called me again crying and saying "It's over Mama! It's over!" Lockdown had been lifted, school was expected to release at regular time, and the school was trying to return to normal. A call from the school followed shortly, with another recorded message saying that HazMat had cleared the scene and school would release at regular time.

So now my child is home and playing outside. It is a crazy world we live in and it seems to get wilder every day. I am just thankful my daughter was not exposed and it home safe! I pray for the families involved, and that each and every child will be 100% ok!!!!

Ok, about 6:00 I got a call from the school again. This time I was informed that the guys from the EPA are flying in from DC tonight around 11:00pm to further evaluate the threat of any type of contamination at the school. We were told that school for tomorrow has been canceled, and that we should take Marissa's uniform, shoes and backpack and tie them up in a plastic bag and place the bag outside of our home.

Needless to say, this activity totally freaked Rissa out. After changing clothes and tying up said articles in a black trash bag, we hopped in the car and drove to our neighborhood fire dept. where the three firefighters on duty helped out by answering questions, reassuring Marissa that the threat of contamination is small, and in general giving us an idea of what the EPA is looking for and how they will rid the school of Mercury if any traces are found. These 3 guys were awesome!!!! They talked directly to Marissa, and treated each question with the utmost consideration. They were helpful, kind, and really did a lot to ease my baby girls' fears. Way to go guys!!!!!


Cecile said...

Oh My Goodness Marissa I am so sorry that you had to go through that drama.I heard about the episode on the news but I didn't have any idea she went to that school.Keep us posted.Have fun at home you deserve it girly:))

Beth said...

Yikes! At least the school has a system for contacting parents with semi-vague updates. I would have been freaking out too.

Amanda Johnson said...

Ummm did it occur that you still got the SHOT! It could have been dangerous..but you still fought the good fight and you can scrap this drama as it unfolds....
On a heavier note I hope those that were exposed are safe and healthy.

ScrappyGypsy said...

I should take this opportunity to note that the picture with this post was from one of our news networks, I believe it was the WTOC website.
Can't take credit for it! I personally would have dogged some of the trees myself..... :)