There is a bom

Says the note written in green marker

On the bathroom wall

The loud speaker announces

Code 3 Code 3 Code 3

This is not a drill This is not a drill

I grab my grade book, after tripping over a chair

(Watching a brainpop movie, kids laying on the floor, chairs moved closer for better attention)

I ask "who would like to carry the first aid kit"
Two lines
We're out the door and across the street in less than two minutes

Whistles are blowing

We all sit in the designated place, kids pulling up clumps of

Bear grass, weeds, throwing a little dirt to dance in the wind

Someone from the crisis committee checks,

Everyone here? I think that is my student with his head inside his shirt

And his pack on top of his head

A few more burrow into their hoodies, pulling their necks in like the

Turtles, we already emulate, carrying  our packs everywhere

In case there is a bom

This is precious time for learning to write a good sentence.


There is a bom



There is a bom

Find out who can't spell bom, first thing I say

It's sad

We do know who was in the restroom between 12:35 and 12:55

We just don't know what exactly they were doing in there

Made clear by tearful parental support

We can't prove it

Well then,

We have restroom check in logs

Color coded by grade

Classroom restroom records

Group restroom check in and out

Timed according to the clock on the wall

Across from the (yes that clock) restroom


We have restroom monitors

Hallway monitors

Restroom patrol

Hallway patrol

Cameras pointed at the restroom doors

We have painted the stalls black

We have fingerprints

We have message boxes

where you can anonymously

Write the name of a student

Who you suspect

Might be the rascal

With the bom


But you know

What if it were FOR REALS

(Written next to There is a bom

in green marker

On the bathroom wall)

We'd be blown away

A patrol of civil rights lawyers would

Pick at what was left of our carcasses

Have us in Guantanomo Bay faster than

You can rig an election

The holy  Yei people might just pull

Us away from this world never to

cause trouble Like this again

You can't violate a child's right

to pee alone

You can't lock the restrooms

Remove the doors

Film the occupants washing

their hands

Suspend someone

because they have been accused

Retain them for

not having the skills to succeed

in the next grade

You can't give them the

self esteem they don't have

By punishing them,

making them feel guilty

or  humiliating them

Because after all,

how do you think it feels

to be in the 5th grade

And not know how to spell bom.


That's the crime my friend.

That's the real bom.

Joy Walden @2003