"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19
"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12
Friday, September 30, 2011
The power of rumour
I had my nice Yr 11s this morning. They had come from P.E. and most of the boys were late - as in later than usual. To give them their due they settled well enough but there was some talk about some poor lad who had broken his ankle playing rugby.
"But what about the sniper?" asked Jade.
Sniper? I should know better than to ask.
Every hand is in the air and I see my carefully crafted lesson evaporating before my eyes.
"Yeah, Bethany was playing tennis, right, and she saw this man wearing comabts and camouflage and carrying a gun over his shoulder."
I look sceptical.
Are you sure it wasn't a guitar or golf clubs?
"No. She said it was a gun in some sort of case and when he saw her he started to open it and she legged it."
There is a general hubub.
Look guys, there's no point speculating and gossiping about it. We don't know the truth as none of us were there and its a waste of brainpower and emotional energy to discuss it. So, back to how Jesus dealt with foreigners.....
Twenty minutes later a Behaviour Support Worker comes in to the room and says in the loudest stage whisper imaginable:
"At break time they aren't to go outside. Make sure they use the internal routes to get to the dining room."
"Sir, is it a sniper? Is there a sniper on the roof?"
I know as much as you, which is next to nothing, so until someone tells us otherwise we'll carry on as normal.
"Someone's trying to kill us and you want us to talk about Jesus?"
Seems as good a time as any.
Things calm down and some work is produced.
I hear the dulcet tones of Miss Drummond outside the room.
"GET BACK INSIDE AT ONCE."
"I'd like to see her head splattered against the window."
Ryan: out. Into Mr McVeigh's room.
"I was only joking."
That's akin to telling the check-in attendant that you've got a bomb in your bag. As in NOT FUNNY.
A chastened Ryan slummocks into my colleagues room.
"We're all going to die."
Shut up. This isn't America.
The bell goes and they file out obediently through Mr. McVeigh's room. My colleagues and I sit in the workroom and have our break, discussing the turn of events.
"My lot couldn't use an internal route" laments Mrs. Singh. "It was chaos."
The bell goes again for the start of lessons.
"Sir, Sir. Did you hear about the boy who was shot playing rugby?"
"Sir, there are police all round the school grounds."
There aren't. The school is a secure site and we appear to be in lockdown. The police are, rather half-heartedly one feels, "scouring" the area beyond the school grounds.
The word now is that Bethany is having second thoughts about what she saw. Bethany is rumoured to be a bit of a drama queen.
Update: The police found no one matching the description of Bethany's gunman anywhere near the school. Things returned to relative normality. ("I'm not going out there with snipers on the roof." Shut up Callum or I'll shoot you myself..)
The lad with the broken ankle turned out to be a boy in my own form. It is a very bad break and he was in hospital today having a metal plate fitted. Spare a thought for Liam and his family.