Each day after school, I ask my kids what they did. Most days are pretty mundane – class work, lunch, recess. The routine is comforting. As a dad, I want their days to be as uneventful as possible. However, my daughter managed to jar me back to reality with her answer.
“We had an intruder drill,” she said.
“What?” I asked.
“We had to pretend that someone was in our school and take the appropriate measures,” she replied. She went on to describe their procedure and the image frightened me. Although I’m glad that her school has a plan in place to deal with such an event, I’m saddened that it is necessary.
After my daughter mentioned her intruder drill, I made her explain the process to me step-by-step. I wanted to be informed and make sure that the school hadn’t missed anything (I was a safety officer at my former company). The most troubling part of the conversation was her nonchalance. All of her statements were said in a matter-of-fact manner. To her, preparing for a school intruder was as normal as studying for a science test.
Sadly, this is the environment in which we live. When I was a child, we had regular fire drills and the occasional bomb drill. Neither were cause for concern and no one really paid much attention to them. We shrugged off these drills because the likelihood of something bad happening was minuscule. The odds of an intruder entering a school are probably lower, but recent events have made them more prominent in our minds.
As my daughter spoke, I tried to maintain my composure but all I could do was think about the children in Newtown. My soul became heavy and I felt helpless. If someone breeched the security at my children’s school’s, I could do nothing about it. I couldn’t save my children. I could only wait and pray that they survived. No mother ever wants her children to be harmed. No father ever wants to feel as if he can’t protect his kids. No parent wants to experience this anxiety.
Later that night, I gave all three of my children an extra hug and kiss.
“What was that for?” asked my daughter.
“Because I’m your daddy and I love you,” I replied.
“I love you too, daddy.” She smiled and darted up the stairs.
Although this culture has stolen some of her innocence, I promise to guard the rest of it with all of my being.
Question: Do your kids’ schools have plans in place to deal with intruders?