Parents express shock and fear upon learning of suspects' list
Many say school officials did not overreact during last fall's sniper shootings
"I was just shocked when my mom told me," Law said.
He said he didn't worry about the snipers then and he doesn't worry about his granddaughters' safety now because he makes sure to walk them everywhere and pays close attention to what's going on around him. "There's a lot of crazies out here, believe me," he said. "You've got to be on point."
At Catonsville Middle School on Edmondson Avenue, Barbara Kreft was sitting in her minivan waiting to pick up her daughter Kelly, a 13-year-old eighth-grader, when she learned about the list in Muhammad's car.
Kreft said she and Kelly were both scared last year. "I kept telling myself and telling her it was down in Bowie," said Kreft, referring to the shooting of a middle school student there. "I was trying to reassure her. She said, 'Mom, that's only 30 minutes away.'"
But as frightened as she was then, Kreft said, "now I'm even more frightened."
Tyler Szarko, 12, said he was "freaked out" to learn about the list. "We knew he was out there, but we never thought he would come to our school," he said.
At Maiden Choice, an Arbutus school for children with disabilities and special needs, Principal Sharon Ward learned that her school was a potential target about three weeks ago when a book about the sniper shootings was released. She said she made parents aware of the situation.
Robert Darden of Parkville, a nurse for a Maiden Choice student, said he understood why the school would be a target, being so close to the Beltway and Route 1.
Arbutus Middle School Principal Margaret Sholl, whose school has 940 students, said the news about Maiden Choice hit "a little too close to home" because the schools are less than a mile from each other.
And then, it did hit home.
After the two suspects were arrested last year, Sholl said, a wave of relief swept over the school as routines returned to normal. Yesterday, she said, "it's like feeling that relief all over again."
Staff writers Larry Carson, Andrew A. Green, Linda Linley, Stephanie Desmon and Liz Bowie contributed to this report.