Dangerous Profession, Part II

December 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm 3 comments

I wore snow boots to work this morning, bringing my regular shoes in my bag. I went up to my room, turned on my computer and did a few things, then got up and went downstairs to the computer lab to get ready for Creative Writing. I sat down at the teacher desk there and realized that I’d forgotten to change my shoes, so I leaned over and pried off one snow boot.

And next to my foot was a little grayish-blue canister, the sort that you know instantly is in some way military or military-ish even without reading it. About 5-6 inches long, maybe 2 inches in diameter, with threads at the end to be screwed into something. Something about it screamed “incendiary” to me – maybe there was a smell or something. I can’t honestly tell you at this point.

I leaned over and began reading the boxy letters:


For a moment I just sat there, wondering if this was for real. Then I reached for the phone and called security, but no one answered, so I pulled my boot back on, picked up my bag, locked the door behind me and hightailed it for the cafeteria where security would be hanging out. (Not eating donuts – the kids come through the cafeteria as they leave the buses, and eat breakfast.)

The security guy who came back with me is a really nice guy, but he didn’t have the faintest notion what he was looking at. And to be honest, neither did I. My brain was fixating on the ETS logo and trying to come up with a rationale explanation for why this item would be sitting there in the computer lab. Yesterday had been a snow day, and the day before, I’d been the last person in that lab other than a few yearbook kids. I got it into my mind that it might be some sort of highpowered model rocket engine (in retrospect, that’s ESTES, not ETS, but it made sense to me at the time) and told the security guy my theory, not especially buying it.

He tapped it gently with his toe, mumbling something about asking a science teacher if they knew what it was. At this point, I’m wondering why the SRO – or even the outside cops – hasn’t been called in. I’m wondering why we’re not talking evacuation and bomb squads.

And at this point, Security Man declares that “we’re all right” and kicks the damned thing several feet across the room. He then proceeds to pick it up and leave with it.

Okay, if you haven’t already Googled it, I’ll save you the trouble. The item in my room was a flash-bang grenade training system – or, I guess, a cartridge for said system. You’re not supposed to be able to purchase one unless you’re a cop, a soldier, or someone who trains those two groups of people.

Up until a few minutes ago, I thought that flash-bangs JUST made a bright light and loud sound to disorient, for example, hostage-takers. Wikipedia tells me that they’re also called “stun grenades,” that they’re so loud and bright that they temporarily blind people and mess up their ear fluids, and that they can cause serious burns and fires.  


And the best part of all this? The last I’ve heard of anything was Security Man picking it up and strolling away. I emailed him and the SRO to let them know what the device really was, once I’d Googled it myself, but have heard nothing in response. No emails to the school telling teachers to check for anything else that shouldn’t be here. No bomb-sniffing dogs or even bomb-looking-for security officers. No evacuation (not that I want that, particularly after losing a curriculum day yesterday, but seriously).

I don’t think they’re taking this the least bit seriously, and it makes me kind of cranky.

Needless to say, I spent the first several minutes of class searching every desk drawer and nook/cranny of that room for anything else suspicious, and have tapping my pencil like a chain smoker all morning. Makes me nervous. I really, seriously don’t believe there’s a thing behind it. I think some kid found it, brought it to school to show his friends, and then dropped it. BUT. Maybe not, right?

And it just feels wrong, and perhaps a little disrespectful, that I’m the only person worrying about it.



Dangerous Profession Dangerous Profession – Epilogue

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Angela  |  December 6, 2010 at 12:19 am

    OMG. Lay off the dangerous profession-type convos for a while, huh? You have me freaked out about going in to work in the morning…especially because any number of my kids actually could make a bomb, and make it look as inconspicuous as a pencil sharpener.

    But should something bad happen to me tomorrow, you’ll be the first person I let know so you have something else decent to write about.

  • 2. madhousewife  |  December 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Okay, just read the last two entries. Yikes, and Yikes?

  • 3. Dangerous Profession – Epilogue « Full of Bees!  |  December 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    […] got a couple of comments on my last post that made me realize that I never went back and shared the […]


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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