When I was in grade school, every year we practiced a fire drill and an earthquake drill. Those were the things we had to make sure to be prepared for: natural disasters. We learned how to duck and cover under our desks and what part of the field our class had to walk to if there was a fire.
Today the world is a different place and our children are being prepared for a different kind of disaster. Horrific school shootings are a sick and sad reality and our children are now forced to go through "lock-down" drills. They need to learn what to do if a dangerous person invades their school.
Elissa- "As a parent of a grade school aged kid this leaves me with such mixed emotions. Rationally I understand that being prepared for anything is smart. The staff and students need to know what to do if anything were to happen. The alarm systems need to be tested and everyone needs to be prepared. But I hate the impact that these necessary drills have on my kid. Growing up I never once felt unsafe at school. I never had to worry about anything like a shooter on campus. These drills put that thought into my child's mind. Her school was conscious enough to leave out why a lock-down would be necessary, but my daughter knew they were practicing in case something "bad" happens at school. I hate that she has to learn what to do during a lock-down but at the same time I am glad that her school is taking any and all precautions. And I pray that they will never have to be implemented anywhere ever again."
Irene - "Lately turning on the nightly news is more terrifying then a blockbuster crime thriller. I avoid watching it altogether and wish desperately that I could shut off the "real world" like I shut off my television. The big headline in California today went something like this: "Massive Manhunt Underway... Suspect Considered Armed and Dangerous." A murderous man on the run for killing innocent people and I hear this on the radio literally seconds after dropping my oldest at the doorstep of his school. My heart sank and I thought "God bless my child and all children." I think back to the drills my son partakes in annually and about our talks that he should always look for the person helping if a "bad" situation should occur. And like Elissa, I'm saddened by the reality of today and that our children have to live in this reality. Yet I remain grateful that there's preparedness. I hope that this preparedness saves lives, but more importantly, I hope that it sheds light on the bigger issue: we need to protect our children at all cost before disasters occur and not simply react after they do."
Schools drills matter, but what else can be done to protect our children? And how do we do that without prematurely sacrificing their innocence and security? Share your take with with us...