A thing I’ve come to learn about kids, through having one and through being around them, is generally they have no idea what’s really going on. This is more true the younger they are. They can appear to know exactly what happening, even be little prescient geniuses but the reality is, they have no clue, they are essentially and necessarily wisdomless. The only ability they have to is soak up and mimic what’s going on around them. They don’t have the life experience to process the knowledge that is available, and, as we all know, everything is available.
But when, on a Friday late morning, during math class, while messing around with their classmates or trying to concentrate on the lesson or daydreaming, an electronic alarm comes over the loud speakers, followed by a trusted voice saying that “This is not a drill, we are going into lock down” those next five minutes can be life changing for a kid, for your kid, for my kid. Life changing.
Thes are the moments that create piercing emotional reactions that stay with our children forever. These are the moments that inform and flavor their decisions for the rest of their lives. These are the moments that they don’t understand because their brains haven’t reached a stage of logical development that would allow them to process. These are the exact moments that we’re trying to keep our kids from experiencing for as long as possible.
Maybe this lockdown at PAML/HS is just a part of being alive in the world today. Maybe some think it’s sad, but normal and we should just get used to it. Maybe this is just “how it is”. Is that how you feel?
When you look at your child and imagine what was going on for him or her in the first five, ten, 30 minutes of that lockdown, before it became clear that everything was ok, what do you think was going on for them? My son told me they had practiced lockdown just the day before and I know our District has decided that informing kids about lockdown and live shooter drills is important, so like I mentioned above, that knowledge was available to all our children. My son said that within a few minutes after the lockdown call, while they were crouched under their desks in silence and darkness, there was a banging on their classroom door. This turned out to be a teacher from the hallway testing the door to make sure it was locked, but no one knew that until a few minutes later. Just for a minute imagine that fear and confusion in your child, as the concepts of hypothetical murder and the murder of them come crashing together in their young mind. What is formed in that moment?
Did the school do anything wrong in the moment. I don’t think so. Did the adults in charge do the best they could, even exceeding expectations that no one can really prepare for, yes, I think so. Are we lucky to have the adults we have around our kids. Yes!
Do we need to take a different look at this, as a community? Yes.
Is it important, imperative even, we do not go back to normal and chalk up live shooter lockdowns as just what happens in our world today? Yes.
There’s so much going on in the world today, there’s so much that people want us to be worried about and perhaps there really is that much to be worried about but it’s time to prioritize and get lazer focused on what we worry about, at least that’s what I think. Our community, our kids…what’s more important?
There’s a quote that gives us some guidance, it’s by a pretty smart guy. He says “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. This is hopeful, to me, because we’ve had some far away thinking going into our local education, maybe this a good and different place to start, right here in Morrisville, and the towns that make up the LC? Maybe we can create some solutions by getting into what’s good for our kids and our neighbors kids. There’s some problems that will come up, big ones, but I challenge you to find a bigger problem in your life than the impact of a live shooter lockdown at Peoples?
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created themA. Einstein
We’re not sending our child back to school Monday. Not out of some defiant or angry reaction. Simply because he said he doesn’t want to go. And he said it in a way that tells us he’s scared, that tells us he’s been shaken and we’re not going to send him back into that. We don’t know what the hell we’re going to do, but we know what we’re not going to do, and sometimes that’s a good start. So who wants to have a discussion about how we’ve arrived here and how we can depart. Who agrees with the Einstein quote, who is willing to explore with new eyes? Let’s do it, right? Please!? Now!?