Nashua police and school officials are claiming to have broad support from parents, yet a lot of people didn’t trust them when they said the schools were safe to reopen Tuesday, after the threat which resulted in all the schools being closed on Monday. An AP report says that attendance on Tuesday was down significantly, more than normal ducking out on Christmas week would account for. Somewhere between 30 and 35 percent of the students at the two Nashua high schools didn’t show up.
Can anyone blame them? The police claimed the threat was plausible enough to justify closing not just the two high schools, but all the city’s public schools, and yet they refuse to tell us anything specific about the threat other than that it was directed at the high schools and named December 21 as the date. There are extra police in the schools this week, even though the threat is allegedly gone. Everyone except government officials knows that murderous attackers can easily change details of their plans or lie about them in the first place. If the schools were in grave danger on Monday, there’s no reason to believe they’re much safer now, given the claimed seriousness of the threat and the lack of information to go on. As I said before, it makes sense to withhold details that could be “fingerprints” of the threat, but we should at least know what kind of threatened attack prompted such a drastic response.
It reminds me of the locking down of six cities in the Boston area while pursuing the Tsarnaev brothers. The public is simply considered an inconvenience to be kept in the dark even when it’s in danger. People are still claiming that ordering everyone to stay inside their homes was what allowed a person who went outside his home after the order was lifted to find Dzokhar Tsarnaev. I’m less scared of this mysterious threat than of what the police might do while hunting it down.