First, I want to start by saying I don't disagree with this, it just breaks my heart that there is a need.
I got an email from the school today asking parents to prepare our children for a lockdown drill that will take place tomorrow. This is a copy of the email (since they sent it to 600 families I think I'm safe putting it on my blog!)
Tomorrow morning at Forest Dale we will be reviewing our lockdown drill procedures with our students. Teachers will be working with students to help them understand the importance of this drill and why we find it necessary to practice.Taking into account that participating in this drill might make some students nervous, please take a few minutes this evening or over the weekend to talk to your child about the drill or about what they learned. As always, our first priority is student and staff safety and we want everyone to be prepared in case of an emergency. Thank you for your support and have a great weekend.
When I read this I thought, what the heck is is a lockdown drill and how am I supposed to discuss this when I don't know what it is. So I sent the following email;
Please explain the lockdown drill so I can better help my daughter understand.
Then I realized Hadley may actually know what this is so I asked her about it and she told me "it's where we practice if a bad guy comes in the school, we go in a classroom and hide."
The more she got into her explanation the more tears started building up in my eyes. It breaks my heart that our children live in a world where they need to know these things. I don't mean the schools shouldn't be doing this, I only mean that there shouldn't be a need for it.
We got home and had dinner, did homework, and wrapped up our evening. The kids went to bed and I looked at my email and I saw this,
Basically the teachers will discuss with the kids how we practice all of our safety drills in order to be prepared. During a full lockdown the teachers pull their classroom doors shut and bring and students left in the hallway into their rooms as well. The kids will practice where safe "hiding" places are in the room out of the line of sight through the door or interior windows. The door will be slightly barricaded and lights will turned off. Students will be silent and wait for on-going teacher instruction. Students will stay in their small group hiding places until the all clear is given.
We really try our best not to make this a scary event seeing as we are required to practice a full lockdown 4 times each year.
Again, I applaud them for having a plan and teaching the kids. God forbid something ever happen, it seems like it would be helpful to have a plan. I have all kinds of plans worked out with Hadley because I think being prepared is empowering.
When I read the email though, I cried a little, I can't help but think how sad it is that we have to have plans for these kinds of events. Has school violence really become common enough that we need a plan? What is wrong with the world? What kind of monster attacks children?
The only consolation I have is that we did earthquake drills when I was in school, and I even remember a school closing because of an Nostradamus prediction of an epic earthquake. I'll be 32 in December and I've still never been in an earthquake. Fingers crossed that I'm never in an earthquake because it's still my most feared natural disaster.