And just like that, we are back to school. We made it through registration, school supplies, first day jitters, new teachers, PTA donation requests (already) and back to school night. I thought I'd get a break from the craziness...then, my middle schooler came home and told me she had a lockdown drill.
She had one last year so this wasn't the first but for some reason, this one really affected her. She said her teacher was crying. The teacher was upset that kids today have to prepare for an active shooter/dangerous intruder situation in school. The class was told to split up into different corners of the room so that if one corner is targeted, there might be a chance for others to escape. They were told to grab their water bottles to possibly use as a defensive weapon. They stayed cowering in a corner and waited for the school officials to perform their part in the drill and clear the classrooms. She said it took the better part of a class period. Then she told me that her plan is to play dead so the shooter would not target her.
I don't remember exactly what I was doing when I was 12...but I'm pretty sure I wasn't making a plan to not get shot at school.
We talked a lot about the drill and about school shootings in general. I tried to reassure her that the chances of it happening in her school are slim. But isn't that what everyone says about their school?
Most schools today have lockdown procedures and some conduct drills throughout the year. My elementary kids did not have a lockdown drill last year. I think they are very careful with the younger kids to not frighten them. However, the school works with the staff to ensure they know what to do in a lockdown situation.
If you are not sure if your school has a lockdown procedure or conducts drills, I recommend inquiring about it. Find out how you would be notified of a lockdown situation. They might not give you specifics about their plan. That's ok. I wouldn't want that information readily available to everyone. Our elementary school does not post the daily schedule online. They don't want outsiders to have access to the student's locations throughout the day. I'm happy that they have put so much thought into school safety. Although it's surreal that we have to prepare for such a horrific event, it's reassuring to know that our schools are doing their best to protect our kids.
We were very moved by the recent video from Sandy Hook Promise (SHP-S). Their mission is to create a culture in preventing shootings and other violent acts in schools. Watch their video below (parental discretion is advised).
Gina is a wife and mama to 3 tiny humans. Her and her family live in sunny SoCal. They enjoy hiking and being in the great outdoors together. To read more from Gina, click here.