When I arrived at 9AM today, my son's teacher (an amazing woman) was not instructing the children in math or writing, instead she was instructing the kids on the right side of the classroom to hide in a tent behind a bookcase, and the kids on the left behind desks and under carts during their "lockdown" drill. As I watched the children quietly moving about, my son was guiding his best friend to sit by him, while I tried subliminally sending him mental messages to move further towards the back wall as far away from the potential danger of a real scenario as possible. She quietly took role, calling out the names of each child. I couldn't see them, but as I heard their voices I could picture each face. I could picture them sitting at my table, watching them read, sounding out the word "barnacle" all by themselves, and telling me in the first few moments of our visit how excited they are about their upcoming birthday party. As she glided passed me to turn off the light, exit the room to pretend to be the "bad" guy impersonating the principal, and checking in the narrow window for little heads poking out around corners, she whispered to me how she could hardly believe in her 20 years of teaching that she was now required to teach this. YOU have never been to my son's school yet YOU invaded their time yesterday, today, and YOU will be there again tomorrow. YOU have given our hard-working teachers another challenge, the challenge of preparing our kids for this terrifying scenario, and the even more difficult challenge of telling them why they need to know.
I am glad my son's school is has a plan in place if this horrifying event ever really happens. I am glad they are preparing my child, if preparation for something like this can ever truly exist. I am hopeful they will never need to use it. I am heartbroken that even if another school shooting never happens, 15 years from now schools will still be spending these stolen hours instructing for the "just in case". YOU have changed OUR schools, YOU have changed OUR conversations, YOU have changed OUR children. That was MY hour and a half you stole. How dare YOU.