Practicing emergency drills with students is an important part of a school’s safety plan.
In the 1960s, students had to crouch down under their wooden desks to practice what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. When we look back, we realize how ridiculous those drills were. But today, we expect our students to know what to do in the event of a fire, tornado, emergency in the community or school intruder.
Teachers are key in maintaining a climate where they let their students know they are in charge and that their classrooms are places of wonder and awe, not violence and fear.
I saw a posting on social media, a sign a kindergarten teacher put up in the classroom (of a jingle with lockdown instructions). I understand the teacher’s attempt to lighten the mood of lockdown safety drills, but I find this so sad. Here is the jingle the teacher taught (sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”):
“Lockdown, lockdown, lock the door; shut the lights off, say no more; go behind the desk and hide, wait until it’s safe inside; lockdown, lockdown, it’s all done, now it’s time to have some fun!”
Children should not have to learn a jingle about a lockdown drill any more than students in the 1960s needed to crouch under desks. When will our elected officials implement reasonable gun laws that focus on limiting gun access to minors, that remove military-style weapons unless someone has special training and that makes getting a gun at least as difficult as it is to get a drivers’ license?
Americans have amazing stories to share – no one wants to have senseless violence impact their lives. We can do better. Elect government officials who have a clear plan for voting in sensible gun laws for all Americans so no classroom has to post a jingle about an inconceivable terror befalling too many classrooms in our nation.