After a couple of decades in the sports business and lots of "big" game media events, I am fairly non-plussed by media circuses. Today was a circus-plus day.
One of our schools is situated at the end of a dead end road with no other access. It was along this road, within 100 yards of the front gate, that the remains of a young person were found this morning just into the nearby woods. Without going into all the details, the common assumption is that the remains are that of Caylee Anthony, the missing 4-year old cutie pie (since June) who's been a favorite of Nancy Grace and other media networks (CNN story here).
Well, I had to hurry to the scene shortly after noon today to explain how we were going to release the students from the school and allow parents to pick them up - with a road closed off by police fully engrossed in an investigation - in the rain - with every network you can name on the scene.
School was out at 3 p.m. and the buses with many school kids rolled by the police cars, media tents, satellite trucks, curious neighbors and reporters oblivious to what was going on, smiling and waving. I felt obliged to wave back and smile just to help them relax, in case they had any fears about what was going on.
Knowing kids, I expect they had a pretty good clue even though they'd been in school all day doing what they do. The media circus has been on their school's street for months so it won't be any big surprise when they find out, but the news is grim. Nevertheless, teachers and staff will be ready tomorrow to listen and watch for reactions and questions.
A sad day but maybe one of relief for many.
Oh. I ran 1.5 of 5 planned miles this morning before stopping. I walked home. Something was bothering me. I didn't know it would be Caylee Anthony.