When I pulled up to the school I was confused at all the cars and traffic. When I walked up to the office doors there was a long line of parents checking out their teenagers.

Again, weird, but I honestly thought that there was some sporting thing that everyone was trying to get out early for or some AG thing for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

I bypassed the long line because was only dropping off a Chromebook for God’s sake. I went into the side office where there was one teacher and about six office aid teenagers.

I said, “Why are there so many people here today?”

Everyone looked around at each other and one of the kids said, “Well, one parent didn’t hear about it.”

“Hear about what? ”

The teacher said,” Before school, there was a verbal threat made by a student. That student was arrested before school started and no weapons were found on him.”

“But that was over 4 hours ago. Why is everyone here now? ”

“Before 12pm the school called all parents and alerted them to what happened. Now they are all here to get their kids out. You didn’t get the call?”

“I probably did get the call but y’all send so many calls about every little thing that I stopped paying attention to them years ago. But this threat happened hours ago and no weapons were found? Probably a kid being stupid and saying something incredibly ignorant thinking he was being cool. Y’all know what? Y’all need to let these coaches go back to paddling these kids. Because back in my day when boys or girls did something stupid at my high school they got sent to Coach Cry. He had them bend over and grab the back of their knees, and then Coach would swing that wooden paddle so fast and hard it would lift them right off the ground. No one was a tough guy when you got a paddling from Coach Cry because no matter how hard they tried to fight it, they always cried. And you know what else? They never went back for another paddling. They never did anything stupid again to ever need another bruised ass. These kids need their asses whooped and be reminded that they are not grown and they better respect authority and rules or suffer the painful consequences when they don’t. I’m sick of everyone coddling these kids. They have no fear of consequences.”

The teacher is laughing and nodding her head.

One wide-eyed toddler-teenager says, “What school did you go to?”

“Alvin High School. Where boys and girls got pops and ass bruises from the coaches when they mouthed off and broke the rules. Those same boys carried rifles in the back windows of their trucks to school every day and they never did anything to hurt or threaten anyone with them since we were all terrified of not making Heaven and ending up in hell someday . And we were all afraid of Coach Cry’s wooden paddle.”

The teacher, still nodding and laughing says, “I miss those days.”

by Barbara Blue Johnson