Editorial: The real scare isn’t the white powder

Posted 2/8/20

One could not watch the scene outside the Bristol Town Common last week and come away with any conclusion other than this — what an extraordinary waste of time, resources and energy.

This in …

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Editorial: The real scare isn’t the white powder

Posted

One could not watch the scene outside the Bristol Town Common last week and come away with any conclusion other than this — what an extraordinary waste of time, resources and energy.

This in no way diminishes the efforts of first-responders, who displayed their high standard of professionalism and training over the course of the five-hour ordeal. Thankfully, in the end, they determined that the school administration building was not contaminated by Anthrax. Whether it was baby powder, flour or something else, they won’t say, but it was not a real threat.

However, the consumption of time for firefighters, police officers, special hazards teams and volunteers; the disruption to lives; the momentary fear for those involved … this was a massive event with significant impact.

If detectives are able to find out who did this, and why, they should bring all available measures to bear on that person. Quite simply, society could not function if scares like this were commonplace. Businesses would close, the economy would suffer.

This is one area where zero-tolerance is the only policy.

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Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.