A sad reality is that since we’ve experienced a devastating rise in school shootings, security measures have shifted drastically. What is supposed to be a safe haven for children is being restructured with almost jail-like rules.
Parents, some of you have watched how much things have changed over the years. There was a time when all parents had to do was flash their IDs at the front desk to sign kids out.
Now, all doors are kept locked, and you probably have to ring a bell, stand in front of a camera, and identify yourself before being allowed to enter the building. Then you go to the front desk for another round.
Students as young as four and five are taught safety drills just in case an active shooter is in the school. My youngest child has been doing these mandatory drills for at least the past seven years, and they include curling up under desks or crouching against the wall. Doors locked and be quiet!
This is happening all over the country, and a mom in Massachusetts was saddened to find how one teacher is reminding kids how to conduct themselves in the event of a crisis. Georgy Cohen was visiting her rising kindergartner’s new school and noticed a poster hanging in the classroom.
On it were handwritten instructions for what to do during a lockdown. Written in the form of a poem, the words also happened to go along with the melody to “Twinkle Twinkle” and the alphabet song. Cohen shared a picture of the poster on Twitter, adding that it shouldn’t be in her child’s classroom.
Her feeling was that it is upsetting for kids to have to go to school under with the weight of possible gun violence hanging over their heads. It’s now at the point that children’s nursery rhymes are being used to prepare them for an active shooter scenario.
Is this okay? Or are we setting them up to be scared to go to school? Kids are already accustomed to doing fire and weather drills, so how many steps away from those are we? But teachers and parents have a legitimate fear nowadays when it comes to their kids. Some sort of protective measure is necessary.
During the drills, kids often feel terrified even though these are just simulations. The thought of being away from their families when a “bad person” comes into the school rattles them. They listen to teachers telling them to be very still and very quiet because their survival depends on it, even if they feel the urge to cry out.
For younger kids, drills can be jarring, and the idea of having to live through something like it is worse. Having reminders posted up throughout the school or classroom leaves some to wonder if it is overkill or a must. Your thoughts?
Take a look at the sign hanging in this kindergarten classroom by watching the clip below. Tell us what you think about the lockdown poem and safety drills in general. Do you think posters like these are warranted? Are your kids afraid during lockdown drills?