That was the text of a hand-lettered sign Chris found on the fence of our first-born’s nursery school at pick-up time one winter afternoon. There had been wild rumors of a giant cat roaming the general area, flames fanned by every TV station, and the nursery school wasn’t taking any chances with its defenseless tiny tender vittles chubby little charges.

Yesterday Ian and I did another college visit, this time to the University of Pittsburgh. Lovely campus – check. Nice student-teacher ratio – check. Home plate from 1960 World Series preserved in plexiglass on floor of new building built atop old Forbes Field – check.

Then, from our perky little undergrad guide, came the chilling part. “Here are the emergency call boxes – an operator will answer in one to two seconds. A campus policeman will be by your student’s side within two minutes. From every call box, you can see another one – that’s how abundant they are. We have a SWAT team on campus. These are all real police officers, not rent-a-cops, for lack of a better word. You can sign up to receive a text message from the university in the event of an emergency situation and stay informed until it is resolved. This is all done in light of the recent unfortunate events on other campuses throughout the country…any questions?”

Wow. No.

We understood all too well.

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