Last Monday I drove Cole to school. As usual, he was very gabby and asked a lot of questions.
The first was what would happen if a bad person ran out of a store with all the food? I said the police would be called, the thief would probably be caught and he'd go to court and maybe jail.
His next question was suppose a bad person (beginning to see a trend here) drove into a person's car and smashed it. My answer was pretty much the same as the one for the food thief.
I told him any time someone breaks the law like steals or hurts a person or damages property it's handled by police and courts.
Then he eased into what was really on his mind. He said to me ya' know, grampy, there was a bad person at a school.
I said, Really? What happened? He told me that a bad person went into a school and hurt lots of people. Then he asked me if he was going to bet in trouble. Without going into graphic details, I told him yes he was in trouble and that none of us ever had to worry about him hurting anyone again.
He mulled this over for a while and then observed that people shouldn't be bad.
I agreed and was thankful the conversation was turning to something else.
The lesson here is that as much as we try to shield and protect kids from various kinds of information, something definitely filters through. Maybe not everything but enough to form impressions.
Not much gets by them.