This is definitely a rave. I don’t have facts and stats to back me up, I haven’t spent years studying the effects of drills on a students’ psyche and I’m not a trained therapist or psychiatrist… but I am a parent. So when my child returns home and divulges that she spent a portion of her school day thinking she was going to die and how sad it was that she didn’t get a chance to do more with her life, I get pissed. I get really, really pissed.
The reason she thought she was going to die is that her school had a “realistic” lock down drill, meaning, I assume, that they wanted it to feel more “realistic” than the average announced lock down drill (which in my mind are already bad enough for our kids). So they had this lock down unannounced and teachers ran through the halls shouting about a lock down (so naturally the kids thought it WAS FOR REAL). So they all huddle in a corner (this in itself baffles me… let’s all cluster so the school shooter doesn’t need to think about where we are… they can just kill us all at once, let’s make it easy!) and they huddle and they wait, thinking that they are going to die. The person who eventually opens the door is a policeman (at this point the kids think that it’s the shooter opening the door as the police officer did not identify himself) who is checking to see that everyone is OK.
No they are not OK, they thought about dying, being shot, in school… and they had to feel these feelings because we can’t take the chance that they won’t know what to do in the case of an actual school shooting. Our children need to feel this fear on the very tiny chance this actually happens to them… like really, here’s a brilliant idea, let’s terrorize them on the tiniest chance that they’ll ever be involved in a school shooting. While we’re at it maybe we can give them food poisoning so they know how to handle that if comes their way… maybe we can mock rape a girl so she might know how to react if that happens (which of course is WAY more likely than a school shooting).
I wonder why my kid has to think about dying from a shooter EVER at the age of 16. I do understand that there are children all over the world who do have to think about these things… but why a girl from Vermont needs to have those feelings and that those feelings were planned and thought out by the school district, teachers, government officials so that our children “feel safer”. I call bullshit, these kids don’t feel safer they feel more FEARFUL. We are filling our kids up with a good dose of fear under the guise of their well being and it’s absolutely crazy. Fear is kinda running the show these days, it’s what’s playing out in politics and close to home. I’d like to say I have an answer on how to change this.. I don’t. So for now I’ll hug my kid, tell her to watch out for the real shit that might come her way and let the other stuff go… as best she can.