The AP news agency (via Yahoo News) is reporting that schools in the Belgium capital of Brussels re-opened yesterday amidst high security after two days of closure over security fears.
When Annelaure Leger dropped off her two children at school on Wednesday, it was like nearly every other day — except for the machine gun-toting policeman.
After a two-day school shutdown sparked by a threat alert across the Belgian capital, Brussels resident Leger was relieved that classes were back in session, even though she and her kids had to take their bikes since the subway was still not running in her neighborhood.
“It was like Christmas come early for the children,” Leger said. “They stayed at home and played with the neighbors’ kids.” She said the family lives partly in Paris and that the children are very aware of what’s happening both there and in Belgium.
“It would be better if the police had caught the terrorists, but the children know they are trying to do that so that everyone is safe,” she said…
The threat level is expected to be in place until at least Monday unless there are significant developments, like the capturing of some suspects linked to the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, who are believed to be in Belgium.
Some experts warned that without a further explanation of the situation, officials risked undermining the public’s trust.
“It seems paradoxical to say that (Brussels) is still at the highest threat level but it’s OK to open schools and subways,” said Neil Greenberg, a professor of mental health at King’s College London. “It’s not very helpful to reassure people that everything is safe without sharing more information about what has actually been done…”
Professor Greenberg makes an interesting point here – if the threat level is still classed at the highest level, does it seem odd to be re-opening schools, even if closure is very disruptive?
Please let us know what you think and tell us what you would expect to happen if your city was in a similar situation to Brussels at the moment.
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link