Swatting, but not at flies

Huffington Post

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Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

Last week our local elementary school received a disturbing phone call. In a pre-recorded voice, the speaker said that he was armed and preparing to attack the school.

The local SWAT team was on the scene almost before the call ended. In Holland, we have SWAT teams, too — Special Weapons and Tactics — but they are more familiar here, thanks to Ferguson and now Baltimore. Soon they were swarming around the school — squads of men in military fatigues, black helmets, goggles, radios, and carrying rifles and assault weapons. Over the loudspeaker crackled the command: Shelter-in-Place! Within seconds, the kids were carrying out what they had learned in many safety drills. They stood with their backs against the outside walls, out of sight from the windows. Teachers closed the doors and windows and shut off the lights. The school looked empty.

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