Standing up for freedom |

Standing up for freedom

A demonstration for school safety at Douglas High School was railroaded by someone who decided they would protest by threatening students.

The school was under a stay-put order while Douglas County deputies patrolled the area checking for any potential threats after what was referred to as an “unsubstantiated threat.”

Unfortunately, the language in these matters doesn’t help when parents get a text or email saying there’s something going on at the high school.

A stay-put is not a lockdown. It means classes continue as normal, but students are kept inside until deputies had a chance to answer.

We’ve already heard the question, “if it was unsubstantiated, why was a stay-put order issued?”

When someone sees or hears something, and says something, as they’re taught to do, that threat is unsubstantiated. In this era of instant communication, that can translate into 1,000 Facebook posts in a minute, calls to dispatch, the school district, tying up communications and making it harder to see through what military strategists used to call the “fog of war.”

A text, Facebook post or tweet is easily lost in all that, but any one of those things would have substantiated the threat, and made the possibility of finding the culprit that much easier.

There still were demonstrators at the high school, adults, who were availing themselves of their First Amendment rights to peaceably assembly and petition the government.

Also, three students made it out of the school, and took up the cause. And when we get right down to it, that’s what Wednesday was about.

Threatening to hurt someone to prevent them from exercising their rights is the worst form of terrorism. That some stand up in the face of danger is what elevates us as a people.