For many parents today, dropping our kids off at school after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy was a different experience than it has ever been before. There were police in places they had never been before. There were school psychologists at the ready and greeters watching every parent bring their children into the classroom.
It's not unlike going to an airport soon after a terror attack. I remember flying through London not long after the 2006 liquid bomb attempt. The security lines were outrageously long and my husband and I had to throw out every toiletry item we had brought in our bags. And today's school drop-off, in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, felt almost like that.
At my own kid's school, there were guidance counselors in the hall greeting parents, which was unusual. A neighboring school was posting police officers at every school for drop-off and pick-up. Below are five other stories of some differences today:
A mom in CT:
We had police on the front steps, the principal helping parents and kids, multiple teachers, and administrators. There were more parents and actually more sets of parents rather than just one dropping kids off (including our family). We then all came back 20 minutes later for the Christmas concert and there were police, we all had to show identification and sign in.
A mom in OH:
Our guidance counselor is usually outside for parent drop-off/bus drop-offs but today the school principal was out with the only other male teacher in the school. I don't know where the guidance counselor was but I assume she was inside getting ready to do something with the kids. We also have police officers visiting each of the classrooms today.
A mom in New York:
My son takes the bus, so I didn't notice anything too different. But our principal did send out an email early this morning saying the staff would be meeting with a psychologist before classes begin.
Another mom in New York:
Today there was a police officer at the car line drop-off not really doing anything -- just keeping a presence. However, I was able to walk right into the school with my kids. This was before school started, and I was with children, so maybe that's why. But it still didn't feel as if a whole lot had changed security wise.
A mom in Florida:
There is normally one Sheriff's Deputy positioned outside my daughter's school every day. Today there are three. I am truly thankful for the men and women who serve as law enforcement but deeply saddened that it is necessary. These are trying times.
Was your school drop-off any different this morning?
Image via KB35/Flickr