When Your Child’s School is on Lockdown

Over the last couple of days some schools in our school district were put on lock down when a message was picked up by these schools with a computer generated voice saying ” I am in the school and I want to kill 100s of children“. This is now day 2 of threats and I am beside myself not knowing whether to send my child back to school tomorrow, I can’t get the thought out of my head that maybe he should stay home for a while. There was never such a thing as “lockdown” drills when I was growing up. I had to first explain what a lock down drill was to my kindergartener during the first month of school. It made me tear up so much telling my child that this was in preparation in case bad people came to the school wanting to harm them. At five, when he’s supposed to be venturing off to school and learning in a safe environment, I also have to tell him the dangers that “could” lie ahead?

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 I guess at some point we’ve all been warned about stranger danger. In my day and age it was don’t take candy from a stranger, don’t get in a stranger’s car. Now its much more vicious. It’s not simply being leered away from what is supposed to be a safe place, a safe walk home….its viscious obliteration of life. How do you warn a defenseless child of that? 

I guess you don’t and you just hope for the best…. 

I’ve had an emotional few hours to think about this as I waited to collect J from school and couldn’t wait to see him run toward me.  I’ve sat here thinking, even debating whether or not to send my child back to school tomorrow. 

It’s not an easy decision to make, but I’m looking at this thing from several different angles now. 

1. Most of the time when tragedies happen such as school shootings, there’s usually no warning. It just happens. So this could be a prank call from a teenager, or somebody who gets a thrill out of scaring people. 

2. I don’t think that anyone who intends on getting away with a crime like this would give a heads up about it. 

3. There are so many trolls and people who hide behind the internet and yes the phone that make threats like this just to rile people up, just for a reaction. 

4. I can be grateful that the lockdown was from a phone call, not a real act of violence.

 

This is what I’m telling myself. This is what I have to tell myself to allow my child to go back to school. Do I want my child to live in a box and not let my child experience all the things this life holds for him due to the threat of what could happen? No. 

Am I terrified at sending him back to school?

Absolutely! 

 

But at this point I’m not gonna transfer my fear to my child who seems happy and his normal self right now. I don’t want to do that to him. I was anxious to hear about what he thought of the lockdown. He said at one point he was scared, but when he saw the police officer he knew everything was ok. After that brief discussion, he then asked what he could have for an afternoon snack and that was it for him. He hasn’t really thought about it since then, but I have. I can’t stop thinking about it.  

 I just read a post tonight by a pre-K teacher that was featured in the Washington Post that every parent should read to get a real good picture at what goes on during a lockdown drill, especially with very small children, she does bring a very enlightening picture to what kids go through all across the country at schools where she compares it to “rehearsing their death”. I can’t help but agree with her viewpoint. 

It was about a month ago on a school morning. I had the news on as I was pouring milk into my boys cereal bowls. On the news there was an attempted kidnapping of a child at a park. The toddler’s older sister witnessed it, followed the man screaming and making a fuss the whole way. Due to her actions, the kidnapper dropped the toddler and ran off. My five-year old was watching the news story and he became scared. At first I wanted to dismiss it and tell him not to worry about things like that, that he’s safe, or that this kind of thing wouldnt’ happen to him. But would I be doing him any favors if I told him that?

It was then that I muted the television, sat down at the table with him and we had a discussion. It was a discussion that made him cry, but it was one that I hope stuck with him. I told him that if anyone ever tried to take him away from any place anywhere that I wanted him to kick and scream, to bite, to holler to do all he could to get away. I told him not to give in to the kidnapper, not to listen to do as much as his little body would let him do to fight off any abductor and to never give up! Yet I’m sending him to school, where they are teaching children to cower in a corner and wait for impending death.

I am no expert by any means and I know this kind of situation could happen at a grocery store, a bank, a park…anywhere really, so there really truly is no safe place. I do not know what protocols work for things like this, and what doesn’t and maybe this truly is the best way to deal with an armed intruder in a school. But I know one thing, maybe with small children hiding in a corner is best, but maybe with older children, ones that comprehend that fight of flight reflex, we can teach them to fight back. I don’t want to teach my boys to cower in a corner….maybe while they are young and defenseless, but I’d want for them to have a chance at trying to escape something so tragic. I do know that there is only so much you can expect from a child at any given age and only so much you can teach them. In a situation like this, maybe its best what we are teaching in schools, but at the same time, maybe it’s not. Maybe we need to re-evaluate this. Maybe we need to equip our teachers and school personal better…. I don’t know. 

 

I do know one thing, it’s harder than ever to raise a child in this world and know what truly is best for them and to rightly know when to step in and when to just trust and let officials and teachers lead our kids to the best of their ability. 

Its hard. 

I pray this person or these people are found and these sick calls stop.  

 

What would you do if you found out your child’s school was on lockdown due to a threatening call like this? 

 

About Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

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I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

40 thoughts on “When Your Child’s School is on Lockdown

  1. I’d like to think we’d remain calm and let the authorities handle it. But knowing my wife, we’d be the crazy ones headed towards the school to get involved.

  2. A few weeks ago, I went to a womens self-defense classed offered at the place where I take kickboxing. The hubby went to help, and to serve as a guy to practice moves on… so this means Phoenix & Ariana went too. A bit of the class was learning different techniques, but there was also a portion of the class taught by a retired police chief about avoiding bad situations. My son listened as the rest of the women in the class did too. We were told to be aware of our surroundings, pay attention to people around us, to never get in a trunk, and to escape. Escape. Run away. Chances are, the person attacking us will be stronger… it’s not a matter of fighting them & winning, but fighting away and leaving. I think this applies to kids too. In a lockdown situation, I don’t think kids should try to be the heroes. They’re the smallest, most defenseless ones there. The goal is to lock the doors, and hide, so it looks like the room is empty. When everyone does this, the bad guy doesn’t know where to go. And… the kids, the teachers, they aren’t there to win a fight. They’re there to stay safe until help arrives… which should be quickly being as how many people have cell phones to call 911.

    1. I just went to an informational meeting about lock down procedures last night. I had no idea the safety procedures they’ve put in schools since I was in school. I didn’t realize the doors autolock during a lock down, I thought someone had to go around and lock each door, which I thought how will that save anyone? I also had no idea that the response time in our town for the police to get to any particular school is under 2 minutes, so that makes me feel a little better. I totally agree with what you are saying here, and I don’t think by any means we should be teaching our kids to fight back at school against a school intruder, but outside the classroom, I think it is fully appropriate to teach your child some self defense and talk about different scenarios with strangers so they can protect themselves. Like I said lock down drills didn’t exist when I was a kid so I didn’t realize the full extent of the procedures or even realize that the schools here where we live are fully up to code with national “lockdown” standards. Its very comforting to know and may make me panic less in the future. 😉

  3. It would take everything in me not to park my car in the parking lot and just sit there all day. I’m sorry you have to deal with this. I recently had to have the discussion with my daughter as well.

  4. I have not had any calls like this from my kid’s school, but it is so scary out there. I worry about him all day when he is at school. He would not understand why something would happen like this. I wish our kids could keep their innocents longer.

  5. I have gotten several calls like this from my kid’s schools. I am thankful that they do take these threats serious and lock down the school. Usually, the lock downs in the past were a result of a bank robbery in our small town. They wanted to make sure that the suspects weren’t going to run and hide in the school or take children hostage.

    Then a few weeks ago, I got a call from the middle school saying they were on lock down. Apparently, a middle schooler took a gun to school. It was found thankfully and no one was hurt. It is scary.

    Life is so different now than it was when I was growing up. We only had to deal with possible tornados or fire drills. Thankfully, the security on our schools is great. They made it where the doors auto lock once school is in session. There is one door open to the office so that people can’t get into the school without signing in.

    1. I think I need to ask some questions about my child’s school and if the lock down procedures can really protect the kids. I guess I’m a little skeptical. It sounds like you have a lot of confidence in your child’s school, which is great!

  6. I would go insane with worry if this happened to our schools. When we had a tornado that hit the school here, the police tried to block me from going into the school yard. They should never come between a mama chick and her biddies, lol. I did drive up to the school daring them to stop what they were doing to arrest me. Of course I knew they had more pressing things to deal with. Thanks so much for sharing your information.

  7. I’m a teacher and a parent so I can totally relate to both sides. As a teacher, I know (somewhat) what’s going on in the school and I can’t even imagine what it must be like for a parent to NOT know what is going on. It’s such a scray situation!

  8. I do not have kids yet so i can only imagine but i do understand your fears and concerns and appreciate your view. I think its not easy in this day and age but i would like to think each parent knows whats best for their child, be it keep them at home for a while or send them back but teach them the basics to survive in certain situations.

  9. I’m a school teacher and we’ve been on lockdown before. It’s scary. Luckily it wasn’t because someone had called threatening that they were in the school and planning on killing the students, but rather because of an issue in the surrounding neighborhood. With everything that is happening in schools, I can assure you that administrators and other school officials have plans in place if and when the unthinkable should take place. I know it’s easier said than done though mama, so I totally get where you’re coming from.

  10. Me personally, I won’t be sending my child back to school until they’ve figured it out. I don’t take those kind of things lightly after all that has been happening recently.

  11. How scary. I would have never thought this would be a possibility when I was a child. This is a great article for all who have school aged children.

  12. back in the fall my daughters school was on the first ever lock down, I was beside myself, thankfully it was a false alarm but we had a chat at that time, it is something we have taken for granted, Canada is pretty safe ( we thought)… you did the right thing

  13. This is absolutely the most horrifying and terrifying thing to even have to try and wrap our heads around in motherhood. Still praying for changes in gun laws in this country. Something must change.

  14. I so get your emotions on this one. Our elementary school just put in a buzzer on the front door. My first thought was what if a shooter is inside??????????? Crazy that we have to even think this way, I know. I’m sorry about the calls to your school happening, that’s awful. 🙁

  15. Wow my prayers are with you and your family. I can’t imagine having to deal with such an event. That is truly scary. I think I will home school my children. The world has definitely turned into a crazy place

  16. wow.. that is so frightening! that’s so scary to think you have to send your kid off to school and you just don’t have much control over what can happen. hoping your kid stays safe and that they find that it’s just a prank.

  17. It sickens and saddens me that children have to deal with this in a place that should be so safe. I homeschool my children, so it isn’t something we personally deal with it, but it is still sad.

  18. I live close to where Sandy Hook happened, and there were a few calls for a week that shut down schools in my city. It’s terrifying. My kids aren’t in school yet, but I know I would legit lose my mind if my kids’ school went on lockdown.

  19. That would put me in a nervous wreck. It is really sad to think that our children is no longer safe in school where they should enjoy exploring. I am with you, I don’t think I can send my child if a there’s a threat like that.

  20. Wow that is so scary to even think about. I know when I was in school, we would have drills for this just in case something did happen but can’t believe it happened to you!

  21. Oh goodness. How scary! I personally wouldn’t send my kids. I was a bit beside myself when we moved to this bug city and they did lock Downs, my old Town never did (we live in Canada) so it freaked me right out! Now, if I hear of lock down my heart just stops!

  22. Wow! What a scary time that was… Nobody should go through this, especially the children. I would be overwhelmed and in total panic. This was a sad situation, but hang in there as thoughts and prayers are with you!

  23. What a scary experience! It’s sad that in this day we as parents have to worry about this type of thing. My daughter will be starting school in September and I’m planning to discuss lockdown and fire drills with her. I don’t know what I would do if I was ever in your type of situation where my child’s school was actually in lock down.

  24. This is an awesome post indeed. There are so many people out there that are mentally sick and would hurt our children. It is so scary to thing we would be sending our kids in danger but we have to acknowledge that anything can happen any day to our children and we can not shelter them from harm 100% of the time. It is an amazing thing to have the technology now to at least warn us of these threats. Thanks for sharing.

  25. This would absolutely terrify me, so I can understand how you feel. And yes, these are one of the advantages of the technology that we have today…to keep us informed. Thanks for sharing your story!

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