Sunday, September 14, 2008

Strangers

Remember the days when kindergarten was all about recess and coloring? Going to elementary school was fun and you always felt safe. Those days are behind us.

Recently, Sister came home from school talking about a drill they did that day. She was excited to explain it to me but couldn't remember what it was called. After a guessing game on my part (Fire? No. Tornado? No. Hurricane? No.) she just described what they did.

Without describing the whole thing, I'll tell you that it was in preparation for the worst thing I can imagine happening. It was an Intruder Drill. My Kindergartner was practicing for what they'd do if a "stranger" came into the school and they needed to be safe.

As she talked about it, I felt a tightness forming in my chest. Hot tears were welling in my eyes. I am so thankful that the school has the foresight to practice this. Yet, I'm extremely sad that it's necessary. I'm glad that she viewed this drill as something routine and even a little fun. Yet, I'm panicked to think that I need to have a discussion with her about why this was necessary. She's five. There is such an innocence in her thinking and I don't want to rob her of that. It will be stolen away by the craziness in this world very soon and I'm trying to cling to it for as long as I can.

I've thought about this a thousand times since she told me and I hate where the thoughts take me. I'm comforted by two things. Most importantly, I know Who she really belongs to. I know that nothing will happen to my children that will surprise God. Secondly, she told me that her teacher made them a promise. When she told me, I felt a strange sense of calmness.

Her teacher said, "I promise you that I'm not going to let anyone into this room who shouldn't be here." I believe her. She's a mom. I was once a teacher. We are two women who would do anything to protect the children given to us, no matter what.

4 comments:

  1. Last year when Boo first had this drill, I was terrified. That next night was parent night, and I spent a good twenty minutes finding out what the procedure was from the principal. It is sad that the world has come to this, but I am happy to know that the school is prepared.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh... I agree so much that our precious little children have so much on their minds and their plates. I was just with my cousin yesterday... my husband and I took her and her 24-year old son to a Red Sox game in Boston. My cousin is my age... !!... and we used to spend a lot of time together at our Nana Burke's house. As we were driving to Fenway Park, my cousin laughed and said, "Sharon, remember that we used to WALK here when we were kids... like 11 and 12 years old... from Nana's house."

    I did remember and it made my laugh and almost cry. My cousin and I used to walk for MILES in the CITY when we were kids. We took subways . We never had to be supervised. I didn't know the meaning of "intruder." Our Nana used to say, "Just be home for supper, girls!!" And we would go explore... have a blast... never get into trouble (well, once we did get into trouble and I will blog about that. It was BIG trouble).

    As a grandma, I feel that things are so different for this new little generation of kids. But, like you, I am happy that the kids are being prepared for the absolute worst case scenarios... even if it frightens us to do so.

    Your post today is very thought-provoking...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a teacher in a small, private school, and I've never heard of this drill. I'm definitely going to bring it up to my administrator and have her do some research. We are a locked facility (meaning all doors in the building are alarmed, and only people with proper ID get past the front office.) Better to be safe though. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gosh this is scary. My son has Autism and is supposed to have an aid with him at all times. But still, scary!

    ReplyDelete