TSTThursday, when my daughter arrived to pick my grandsons, Reed and Maddux, from school, a police car blocked the driveway and others surrounded the campus.   Police were posted around the school and one officer was turning cars, each with a frightened mother at the wheel, away.  The school was on Lockdown.  Based upon what happened at Sandy Hook, when the school locks down, all outer doors and classroom doors are locked, covers are placed over glass panels in the doors, and the kids are instructed to hide in locations where they can’t be seen and remain silent.  By the time my daughter’s vehicle reached the front of the line, the Lockdown had been cancelled.   After a few tense moments, Reed and Maddux emerged from the school, completely unflustered.  So, here on Top Sites Tuesday #197 where we offer Two Thoughts on Tuesday, I offer what my daughter posted on Facebook as Thought Number One: There was a REAL lockdown @ my kid’s school today. Here is what I walked away with… Lockdown “drills” are great because the students don’t know if it is a drill or the real thing. This helps them to be calm & QUIET! I am thankful today for teachers & police!  Still, what a frightening experience for the parents who arrived to pick up their kids and weren’t told anything about what was going on.

We take our tragedies hard in this country.  We ache for our fellow citizens who are grieving, whether they are spouses of first responders killed in the attacks of 9-11 or the parents of the victims of Sandy Hook.   We can’t help but imagine how it would feel if it were us … and our fear makes us think those tragedies are more likely to happen than they really are.  I read a post yesterday that implied that school was becoming the most dangerous place for a child to be.  Here’s the truth.   The chances of a child being killed in a school shooting is somewhere between 1 in 1,000,000 and 1 in 2,500,000.   A child is between 50 and 100 times less likely to be killed at school than away from school.  And although every school shooting tears our hearts out, such shootings have been declining since 1994. Children are six times as likely to be killed in accidents, such as motor vehicle accidents, poisoning and drowning … and twenty times as likely to die of illnesses or congenital anomalies … as they are to be murdered by firearms.   My point … and Thought Number Two … is this: While prudent precautions are warranted, it’s important to know that our schools are among the safest places for our children … and not to traumatize ourselves or our children with unrealistic fears.   And while Lockdown drills may prevent an occasional tragedy, simple steps like use of proper child seats, defensive driving when children are on board, safe storage of toxic chemicals at home, and proper healthcare will do more to protect our children from less spectacular tragedies.

That’s what I think.  How about you? Any thoughts are welcome in my comments section.  And please take the time to push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #197.

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6 Comments on “Lockdown”

  1. cherperz Says:

    I am so out of touch. I guess, had I given it some thought, I would of realized they have to do drills. but I guess, I would of thought they everyone was told they were drills so there was no panic involved.

    I find it sad that kids have to be burdened with the possibility of violence. Had I been your daughter I would of been losing my mind not knowing if, in fact, someone was in the school.

    Scary world we live in.


  2. I remember A Bomb drills. At first they were terrifying, then as I aged less so, but still. My blog today talked about the silent victims of trauma – these drills will create some. Sad when good intentions pave the road.

  3. I know what you mean, it seems like the news on TV and the horrible video games they have out now are just too much for children. Although we did watch a lot of Cowboy and Indian shows that were pretty violent when we were young. I do not know what the answer is but I do know that this is not good for our children.

    Love and Blessings,

  4. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud,

    Drills are a great idea. They don’t incite panic any more than a fire drill or a bomb drill or a hurricane drill or a tornado drill. It’s important for kids today to be aware and ready for anything like that. That being said, schools are safe. Millions of children go to school everyday without incident, they just don’t get any media coverage.

    Great thoughts!

  5. territerri Says:

    I wish some of your calm and reason would be promoted in the news media. I think there’s a panic in this country about all of the possible dangers. (And I buy right into them most of the time.) It is reassuring to see statistics such as the ones you’ve noted here.

    (Button pushed!)

  6. Our school here -way out in these boondocks -has had three bomb threats and of course, lockdowns pertaining to each one is the past year now. The last two were within a week or two of each other -if that! At least with the recent two events, they did instruct the kids and teachers, aides, etc. to take their coats, purses/backpacks, phones, and car keys with them unlike the first one last year when my next door neighbor was locked out of her car at the school and then her house too when she was able to hitch a ride home with another teacher because her purse containing her cellphone, car and house keys were under lockdown inside the school! I agree fully though with your theory about the need for drills which, in the event of some true emergency, kids are better prepared to deal with things in a safer, more organized fashion.

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