I can see so many ways this could have ended tragically:
A North Texas father’s attempt to test the safety response of his child’s school had an unintended consequence—for the father. After walking into the school saying he was a gunman, the unarmed Ron Miller has been charged with making "terroristic threats" at Celina Elementary School.
According to Celina school district superintendent Donny O'Dell, Miller approached a greeter at the school and told her: “I am a gunman. My target is inside of the building. I'm going in the building. You stop me." Added O’Dell to local news station WFAA: “They recognized, at that point, that he did not have a weapon and they were able to go ahead and tell him to leave."
The school’s principal chose not to call 911, instead dialing a nonemergency number, because the 44-year-old Miller, a paramedic, was immediately recognized as a parent and school volunteer.
After Miller left, there was no lockdown and no threat to kids’ safety, according to O’Dell, who also admitted that they did find some problems with their safety response. For one, the greeter had no radio to contact the police.
Said O’Dell, “We found some glitches … some things we need to work on. Of course, none of this ever takes place when you expect it to, so human response to certain situations is not always perfect because we're not perfect."
Some parents felt that the school should have treated the incident more seriously, especially in the wake of the recent tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. A Celina parent, Abby Hall, told the local station, "The steps should have been taken and it should have been my choice on whether or not I picked my kid up early.”
Meanwhile, Miller, who was arrested on Wednesday night after being charged with making terroristic threats—a third-degree felony—was released on $75,000 bail.
We all get better at behaviors we practice, good or bad.