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Why New York Kids Say It Couldn't Happen Here


"He was saying, 'Let's all take a moment to be silent,' " said Sarina. "But it seemed very fake, like he had no heart."

"He cared; he just didn't make it seem like he did," said Marjorie. "He said, 'If you have any problems, we're all here to help.' "

"He said, like, 'Okay, if you feel like you're gonna do this, then come see the guidance counselor,' " said Dylan.

"But do you remember how he said it?" Sarina said, raising her eyebrows. "He said, 'If you ever feel like doing that, it's your obligation to come see the guidance counselor.' Obviously if a person feels like they're gonna blow up the school, they're not gonna go see the guidance counselor!"

"Oh, yeah," Dylan and Marjorie said.

"We had one kid -- we're not exactly sure what happened, because they didn't make an announcement," said Marjorie. "But during an English class, he wrote on his quiz, 'There's a bomb in the school.' "

"Which isn't funny at all," said Sarina.

"Like, the police actually walked into my gym class and they checked all the rooms," said Dylan.

"The next day the principal made an announcement that it's not funny to joke around like that and you will get arrested," said Marjorie. "Now, I thought that was a fabulous announcement."

"I did not like that announcement at all," said Sarina, a trifle exasperated. "Instead of reassuring the kids that everything was okay, it was like a threat. He said" -- she lowered her voice -- " 'This is what's gonna happen to you if you do this -- the police are gonna search your house just like they did that kid.' "

Dylan murmured, "Like they did that kid in Brooklyn."

They all looked at each other a moment; they seemed a little nervous.

"But our school is very free and open," Dylan said hopefully. "There aren't many people who are alone. I really don't think it could happen here. I think if the teachers in Colorado had actually paid attention to Dylan and Eric, they would have seen these kids had problems. They were following Hitler. Like, that's crazy."


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