I just had my first experience of being an authority figure handling a dangerous situation. Let me tell you, it’s scary.
A student approached the teaching team to inform us that there was someone stalking and possibly videoing a student in the women’s bathroom. Three of the team went to follow the suspect and call 911, while I went into the bathroom to make sure everyone was safe.
The police arrived and had the suspect in custody. It turns out, this individual was the perpetrator of an assault by contact just half an hour earlier. They had not gotten him then, but they did now.
One of the main themes when talking to everyone involved was the fear of calling for help in case they misinterpreted a situation. My protocol is, when someone is threatening the safety of others or I perceive actual danger (no this does not mean calling the police on POC just for living life), I call for help and apologize later. This was one of those times. Our teaching team assessed the situation and realized we needed more help.
I think what I will remember most is walking into the bathroom and identifying myself and what role I had. I informed everyone that I have been notified someone was in there that should not have been, and I needed to make sure everyone was safe and okay. Everyone in that bathroom looked relieved that I had notified them of potential danger and was taking steps to make sure they were safe. Some actually thanked me for being vigilant.
Afterwards, I had a chat with the two female witnesses who notified us and said the same thing. You are smart and your gut tells you when you’re in danger. If you see something, call for help. Don’t be afraid of trying to stay safe.
It was an intense situation and not one I’d like to relive. I definitely feel more confident in my abilities to be the “responsible adult” who will handle these types of situations. You learn about them in training, but you never think you’ll actually be in that situation.
It was definitely a day… and just to remind everyone once more: CALLING THE COPS ON POC FOR LIVING LIFE DOES NOT APPLY HERE
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