Somewhere along the line… somewhere in the decade between the end of my public school career and the start of my firstborn’s, schools started to make a shift.
Lockdown drills began.
Educators began preparing themselves for the unthinkable. Making plans for “what ifs” and “God forbids.”
I have occasionally heard about the lockdown drills from my children and I have heard about actual lockdowns that have happened at school. They don’t seem particularly bothered by them. And, I have been grateful for a plan in place. But I never have known what was involved.
The other day, while at my child’s school to volunteer, they announced an Attendance Lockdown Drill. I was in the media center at the time and was urgently guided to the gathering spot. A small corner, far away from any windows.
An entire first grade class, which was there for library, crowded and crouched into a small little corner. Pushed back by their peers in front of them, they squeezed into a space the size of a king size bed – away from any windows.
Within seconds, another first grade class came in. They had been in the gym for PE and this was where they were supposed to go. It happened to be T’s class. Soon, this class also crowded and crouched into the same small corner.
I was stunned. I had heard about these drills. But I never have experienced one.
I looked over at my little boy, in the front of the “child pile”, and realized that if there had been a shooter, he would be one of the first ones picked off. While a huge part of me wanted to take each of my kids aside later and tell them to hide in the back of the “pile”, I had to remember that living isn’t just about survival, it is about looking out for your fellow man. And if I taught my child to lookout only for himself, how could I teach him to care for those around him?