• 48°

A sad commentary on our public spaces

The rash of school violence in this country has students nervous and on the brink of panicking at a moment’s notice. We need no more evidence of this than the reaction of students attending a dance at West Jessamine Middle School. With students on edge about guns in schools, the sound of a balloon popping caused middle school students to run from the dance at the school near Nicholasville a little more than a week ago.

Near the end of the Spring Fling formal dance, a rumor circulated that a student had a gun, police and school officials said. A school resource officer who was working at the dance “dealt with the situation and found that there was no weapon,” Nicholasville police said in a Facebook post.

Then, as the dance was ending and students were being dismissed, the sound of a popped balloon frightened several students, causing them to run outside in a panic. Nicholasville police and school officials shared information about the incident on social media, saying there was never any danger, and everyone went home safely.

How sad it is that there have been so many incidents of school violence that all it takes a false rumor and a popping balloon to frighten students. Or maybe just the common sound of a balloon popping in a room where there were many balloons was enough to cause students to panic. How we long for the days when students felt safe in school because they were safe.

The Daily Independent of Ashland