Newtown Tragedy Is the Reason All Schools Should Have Shooting Drills

Mom Moment 28

school classroomIt isn't often I say I'm wrong. But I've sat, like many parents in America today, with tears rolling down my face as I've updated, updated, updated the news sites, hoping that the news of the school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut will somehow magically change. That suddenly we will learn that they made a mistake, there weren't 27 people killed (the latest report), some 18 innocent children. But magic doesn't exist.

And so where a few months ago I railed against school shooting drills, I am sitting here sad, broken. I was wrong. We need school shooting drills in America, in our high schools, and even more so ... in our elementary schools.

Because while I am crying for the lives lost in Newtown, Connecticut, I would be lying if I didn't admit that I'm crying too for what could have happened if the shooter had entered not Sandy Hook Elementary but the school where my daughter sits today, learning her subtraction facts and reading her Magic Treehouse books.

More from The Stir: Children Killed in Newtown School Shooting Nightmare Could Have Been Mine

Would she have known what to do? Not likely.

She is 7. She is intelligent, but she is naive. I am not a mommy blogger contemptuously bashing her own child on the Internet; I'm simply realistic. She does not yet have a brain developed to contemplate the next step, to deduce the best way to avoid an attack. She is just 7.

It is a blessing in that she is able to enjoy a pure childhood. It is a curse in that the purity of childhood is stained by the evil that is in the heart of a man or woman who would commit the sort of atrocious act that occurred in Connecticut this morning.

Yesterday I would have told you that little kids need to feel safe in their schools; that shootings are still rare enough that we shouldn't scare them with shooting drills. But as of yesterday I was thinking only of shootings in high school, where kids are just a little bit older, a little bit better at problem solving, a little bit less defenseless.

I couldn't imagine someone walking into an elementary school and shooting in a kindergarten classroom (according to at least one report) because that would be imagining the sort of monster I simply didn't want to acknowledge existed.

But he does exist.

And in Connecticut this morning, innocent children were helpless when the monster arrived, armed to the teeth.

I rescind everything I said. Bring on the shooting drills. Teach kids what they need to do if some psychopath comes barrelling in the door with a gun.

Keep our children safe.

Has there been a shooting drill at your child's school? Would you support one now?


Image via frankjuarez/Flickr

back to school, elementary school, safety


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Truel... Truelove77

My heart is breaking over this story....just horrible as a parent of 2 I cant find the words....  :(

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

A good school, led by a good principal, would not have 'shooting drills.' They would simply have emergency plans, and the children would learn what to do in an emergency. They would understand that things happen, be it by force of man or nature.

You were right before- there is NO NEED to take the innocence out of our children... who statistically will never need this type of information while in school. However, it is a life skill that all children should have- learning how to react and behave in a time of crisis.

A crisis could be a sick parent, a car accident, a house fire (which is discussed at schools every year!) What happens if the school is on fire? What happens if we need to leave the school for any reason? We teach our children stranger danger and stop, drop and roll! We prepare them for the worst all the time- they can handle it when done properly.

It doesn't have to be scary- it shouldn't be scary. It should be taught, and done so with the development of a child in mind..

peanu... peanutsmommy1

yes, my son's school does "emergency lockdown" drills, NEVER should it be called a shooting drill!

Maias... MaiasMommy619

Call it whatever you want to.. It needs to be done in our schools today. Our kids need to be made aware to be safe and what to do to be safe.

tuffy... tuffymama

I am more grateful than ever that I have the opportunity to homeschool. My heart is just broken for the parents, students and families affected by this horrible, evil crime. I hope the "second gunman" the police have detained offers some reason or motive. Or maybe he's just a guy who happened to run away from the scene out of fear.

bills... billsfan1104

My heart is breaking and I can't stop crying.

An school shooting still wouldn't of stopped him. They are saying he barricaded the door of the classroom, trapping the kids. Poor things. I am crying in Panera Bread right now, thinking of those poor babies.

Flori... Floridamom96

Today I am profoundly grateful that I homeschool and am overwhelming heartbroken at this monstrous act.

Megan Lee

I can't even fathom what's happened, well I can, in a way, considering the amount of shootings in the States as of recent.
Apparently the gunman was the son of the teacher whose classroom he barricaded.
What's it going to take to keep this from becoming a regular situation?

nonmember avatar Melissa

Very upsetting to everyone. I like the idea of an "Emergency Drill" so it's not so scary. I know things like this can't be always prevented, but schools do lack security. It's not impossible to do more to secure a school. I know there is never knowing. The world is a scary place....

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