Shortly before 8:00 Tuesday morning, a concerned parent visited the elementary school at West-Mont Christian Academy in North Coventry, Pennsylvania. After checking in at the desk, the teacher was escorted to the lobby to wait for his child's kindergarten teacher.
At some point, the parent made the "mistake" of walking upstairs to look at some of the student-produced artwork. Eventually the teacher arrived and had a "fruitful" discussion with the parent, who left.
Unfortunately, the teacher who had been the parent's original escort panicked when the visitor couldn't be found. The administration was notified, and at around 8:30 a.m. the children were herded into the gym, and lockdown protocols went into effect.
"Police called in the Chesmont Emergency Response Team [ERT], who were training Tuesday in the township, to assist in clearing the building," reported the Chester County, PA Daily Local. It's not clear whether the ERT -- a paramilitary police unit equipped with Pentagon-issued toys -- arrived in their nifty "Peacekeeper" armored vehicle.
The ERT was "assisted by three K-9 officers from North Coventry and Pottstown police departments," continues the report. "Warwick Child Care locations on East Cedarville Road and Umer Street were both notified about the potential danger and were advised to go into lockdown." The nearby Owen J. Roberts was also "also alerted to the situation," but its security team -- the slackers! -- chose not to impose a lockdown on the student body.
Nor was this the limit of the official over-reaction: "South Hanover Street, between Route 724 and Cedarville Road, was shut down by fire police as officers from area police departments, the state police and the response team surrounded the building. Area residents, while not advised by police that it was necessary to do so, were staying inside their homes and away from the scene as the response team entered the building, guns raised, at about 10:30 a.m."
Notice that this crack tactical team spent two hours dithering and skulking around the perimeter before entering the school. Had the parent whose innocuous behavior triggered this crackdown been an actual terrorist, he most likely would have finished his killing spree by the time the heroic, battle-ready ERT actually been on the scene.
Remember: Whenever a shooting rampage takes place, all the police are good for is drawing chalk outlines and stringing up the crime scene tape after the victims have been slaughtered.
At 11:14 -- more than three hours after this exercise in police state absurdity began -- the all-clear was given and the children were permitted to leave the gym.
"Because of our cooperation with the police department here and our safety team that was in place, no children were at risk," insisted school administrator Dr. James Smock. In fact, the only "risk" the children faced that morning was a result of the school's over-reaction, which resulted in a potentially dangerous visit by over-anxious, armed tax-feeders in camouflage.