Caught in the Crosswalk

Photo Credit: NIAID

At 10PM last night, every parent in the Eagle Mountain Saginaw Independent School District was notified that a military family was quarantined as a precaution.  The parent of one of the elementary school children was on the flight from Ohio to Texas carrying 2nd Ebola patient Nurse Venison. 


My kids are in this district.  One is elementary. 


Now, I’m intimately familiar with media.  I get the overwhelming and driving force to “get the scoop” when a fabulous story emerges.  Most in the media want to be the first on the scene, the first with the quote that rocks the day, the first with best images that’ll sell news space. 


Today I am on the other side of that, and I’d offer this caution to the news reporters in the Dallas and Fort Worth area trying to trample each other to the next sound bite:


Stay away from children’s schools and any area children frequent. 


It’s appalling to me that not one, but two broadcast news vans were at a school crosswalk nearly an hour before school opened.  Seemingly, waiting to ambush unsuspecting parents and children walking to school about the Ebola “situation.”  It seems the line media are willing to walk gets further and further away from what is considered decent.  Especially when small children are involved. 


These are kids.  Small kids at that.  The very presence of news vans with their football stadium lights and camera crews is terrifying.   Never mind the fact that they overhear things they should not, and that the entire scenario creates mass-panic and fear-mongering over something that isn’t even a true story.  God wiling it never will be. 


Understand this:  There.  Is.  No. Story. 


Not a single person has Ebola in this school, this district or even this CITY.   The news media present today are completely and totally unnecessarily inviting trouble and panic into an elementary school environment.  Additionally, these parents (and their present and accompanied children) are not authorities on the CDC, the districts policies or even Ebola as a whole.  The only reason news would be there is to fan the flames of fear.  And, that’s just not right. 


To the media:

Go to the superintendents of the districts where you have questions.  You know that’s what you’re supposed to do anyway.  So do it.  And, leave the schools, the principals and especially the children and their families alone. 


To the military:

Thank you for always doing more than is expected and required. And, for doing what is the best interests of the military family in question.  If only the CDC had taken your lead…


To the parents:

Don’t answer these fear mongering reporters.  They will get their sound bite and move on.  So, don’t be the person that perpetuates fear.    Tell them to move on and go home. Most importantly, shield your children from them. 


It’s ok to be concerned, but don’t be fearful.  The district is following their own protocols and the rules of the city and state. 


While educating and obtaining real information is always advised, creating mass hysteria is not. 


And, the military family that was quarantined?  They did so at the request of the local installation and military.  They’ve exhibited NO symptoms and this was done entirely and purely out of an over-abundance of caution. 




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