Monday, August 5, 2019

Talk To Your Kids About Lockdown Drills.

active shooter, lockdown drills, school preparedness, talk to your kids, love your children, parenting, motherhood, fatherhood, teachers

If you haven't had this conversation before?

Have it now.

It's impossible to avoid it.

Many of us in the south have started school already.

My daughter had her first fire drill today.

My first question after she told me that was ...

Did you have a lockdown drill yet?

She said no.

But it's coming.

I know it's coming.

It has to.

School years start with the basics.

Lists of school supplies.

Meetings with the teachers.

Perhaps a copy of the syllabus.


Lockdown drills.

Most of our kids know the drill, as it were.

Most of our kids, if they've been in school at least once before?

Know exactly what to do when the lockdown drill begins.

But if this is your child's first year in school?

You need to bring it up.

You need to prepare them.

And either way, old student or new?

You need to be able to talk to them about lockdown drills.

It's scary. Terrifying. Heartbreaking.

All of it.

But we still need to talk about them.

They're not going away.

America is not safe.

Schools no longer represent a safe place for our children to spend their days.

Teachers are now prepped in ways to keep our kids safe. All while staying alive.

Read that again.

The adults who teach our children.

Some of them new teachers, seemingly children themselves (I'm in my late 40s, I'm allowed to say that!), are taught how to both, stay alive AND keep our children alive during an active shooter situation.


This is horrifying.

Talking to your children about lockdown drills will not make them any less horrifying.

Nor will they become any less necessary (I'm looking at Congress here, and the voters, and some of y'all, for this).

But they might become a touch less scary for the kids.

Just enough so that the same way we explain what a doctor is going to do to check a child's eyes, ears, nose and throat, to make sure that the child is healthy and okay - is how we can explain what these drills are for.

Talking through the scariest of scenarios isn't entirely necessary, depending on the age of your child. But explaining to them that similarly to a fire drill (only not similar, not similar at all), kids are required to listen to the teachers and other adults in the room with them. They're to follow instructions and ensure that they do as directed.

And stay very very quiet.

So quiet that they're impossible to find.

It's like the biggest game of hide-and-seek, only the entire school is involved. And it's not a game. Explaining to your child about the importance of staying safe, and the importance of saving all questions for later, or for another time, or for the moments when they've returned to their desks and the teachers are maybe, possibly, (hopefully) reviewing the experience with them.

These. Ways.

These. Things.

These are the best ways to keep them safe.

So please. Recognize that lockdown drills are not going away.

And talk to your children about them.

Continue to discuss the ways the school and its teachers work towards keeping them safe.

Until the day comes when we don't have to any more.

Until the day comes when we finally move forward.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, we've experienced real lockdowns. There are actual levels of lockdowns, too. Some are basic doors are locked and no one comes in, but others are serious stand in the corner lockdowns. They've become so normal, it's so hard to comprehend.

    If you go into classrooms around here, look in the corners for the red dot. That's the corner the kids have to stand in, for hours if necessary, during a real lockdown.

    That's why it's so important to be polite when entering a school and showing ID. Those in the office beeping you in and allowing you to enter are the first people who will face danger if there is a real situation. One lockdown occured because a district employee didn't follow protocol and was seen as a danger, sometimes the partial lockdowns occur when there has been a crime in the area and the assailant hasn't been captured, several times, there have been reports of someone in the area of a school carrying a gun. It's all taken seriously. Children's lives are threatened. Sadly, one of the times of a gun report, it was a hoax by a student. That's a crime. And a waste of resources. But I'm glad the resources were there.

    I've received calls/texts from the colleges my older sons attend. That's scary. Out-of-state. No one is immune. It's unnerving.

    But, we can't live in a bubble. Life doesn't work that way. We can't go through life scared and paranoid. Be vigilant, know your surroundings, look for escape routes when in a building, etc...

    Isn't it sad when it becomes the new normal.



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