“This is just a drill”

How did your lockdown drill go today, kiddo?’
‘It was OK, but I just don’t like doing them.’

On Saturday, March 24, thousands, if not millions, of students and their supporters marched and took a stand against gun violence. I’ve been contemplating airing my thoughts on this topic for quite some time but have never been able to put everything together in a cohesive manner. So, while this post may be a bit of a jumbled mess, I think it’s still an important matter to address as a parent …

Never did I think growing up that there would be more than just fire drills at school. What has happened to society where it is required for students of all ages to practice lockdown drills as well?

The quote at the top of this post is actually an exchange between Isla and I, about a month ago when her school had their second lockdown drill of the year. I can understand why a 5-year old wouldn’t like doing the drills, and I have to give her teacher so much credit for being able to calm the imaginative minds of 20 kindergarteners during these drills.¬†When I asked Isla what she thought of them, she said, “It makes me feel like there’s a savage animal in the school…” It’s a sad truth when it happens for real.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to explain to children why they need to have these drills to begin with. Once upon a time, fire drills were the only thing we were required to practice two or three times a school year “just in case.” To now have to practice being quiet and pretending your classroom is empty incase there’s a “savage animal” in the school that wants to hurt you … it’s just heartbreaking.

It hurts that society has come to a place where these drills have to happen, and so, so many things need to change before our children can go back to just practicing fire drills. There needs to be more than just finger pointing to stop these tragic events from reoccurring. How many more people need to die before the US government goes, “Okay, enough is enough?” Lives matter more than centuries-old amendments.

I hope that one day my daughter won’t have to do lockdown drills and that she can go back to not liking normal things, like roasted broccoli and cleaning her room. That one day she doesn’t have to worry about savage animals running through the halls at the school. That one day we can go back to just having fire drills.

One day needs to come soon.