I keep my cell phone silenced and tucked in a cabinet during the school day. My crew knows I'm essentially incommunicado from 8:00 am until 2:30 pm. Emergency calls can go through the school phone system and ring my classroom phone if needed.
At 3:00 pm yesterday, I remembered my cell phone and went to retrieve it from the cabinet. I flipped it open to see if there were any missed calls, and sure enough there were 3 ... which is pretty unusual.
The most recent one was from a teacher I work next door to, which was odd. I returned the call.
"Hey, did you call me?"
"Yeah, did you hear there was a gunman on Katie's college campus today? I'm down in the office and everybody is buzzing about it."
"Nooooo...." my throat tightened. " What do you know?"
She told me she only knew a few details, but apparently there was a man with a gun on the college campus and the campus was locked down presently. She's close to both my girls and wanted to be sure I knew what was going on.
I thanked her and called Katie immediately.
"Honey, what's going on?"
"I called you to tell you I'm okay, but I got your answering service Daddy. I don't have classes on Tuesday, so I wasn't at campus today. It's still going on, my roommate is locked in a classroom presently. She told me they should be released soon."
"Whew! Thank goodness you weren't at school today, sweetie. Now I can stop worrying."
I called Mrs. FC to let her know I knew about the situation, even though Katie had already called her with the same info. Then I called my teacher pal back, told her Katie was safe, and thanked her again for her concern.
I continued on my errand run into Gainesville. As I did, I tuned into breaking news reports on the radio about the ongoing manhunt on and around the campus. The spokesman said the police had many officers and K-9 units trying to locate a man who had apparently brandished a gun during an altercation in the college cafeteria earlier in the day.
After I finished my shopping, I hopped back into the JEEP and started driving home. Again my phone rang. It was Katie.
"Hey Dad, they caught the gunman."
"Yeah, he lives just below our apartment. They just arrested him. There's cops all over the place, but they are starting to thin out now. I just wanted you to know I am safe and all locked in so you can quit worrying."