I sat criss-cross applesauce in the big gymnasium, my head hurt. I was confused. We sat watching the police officer talk about block parents, 911, and running away from strangers.
What seemed like hours, we were finally directed by our teachers to lineup and take pictures with the police officer. I ran to the back of the line. The police officer approached me, smiled and put out his hand. I looked at him, stepped back, and refused to go any where near him. My teacher attempted to persuade me to inch closer, I put my head up and shook it. I was not going to go anywhere near him.
The poor police officer was confused, and a little worried. He tried again, and I screamed, and ran out of the gym. I remember vividly my heart racing, my lunch tossing and turning. I ran to the washroom (no matter what country I was in, it was always my safe zone), I trembled, tears rolled down my cheek.
My scream had set a panic, the principle called my Father, my Mother was teaching herself and couldn’t be reached. My Father realized the concern. He told them to leave me alone, he would drive down to the school.
I sat on the bathroom floor until my Father arrived. He scooped me up, and asked what happened. I recounted that the police officer was trying to come near me.
He then had to explain that we were back home, and Police Officers are safe to approach, they weren’t corrupt like those in other countries. It took me years to comprehend this concept, I wouldn’t go near one until my late teens.
Early on, I knew that under no circumstances do you ever trust approach or even talk to a police officer, unless absolutely necessary.
Yeah, you might think this is crazy if you grow up in North America or Europe, but if spent the first 7 years in countries where police and government are corrupt, you would be confused too.