Back to School Then & Now: From Fire Drills to Active Shooter Drills (How Our World Has Changed) by Dawn Taylor
I remember dreaming about being a parent and couldn't wait for my child to go to school, a place I loved so much as a child. How fun it would be to dress them up for first and special days, to cherish their artwork and watch with pride while they sang songs and acted out beloved children's plays.
Of course, school days weren't always filled with all things good. Head lice came home and at the time felt like the worst thing imaginable. The flu filled the house like a plague almost yearly. Bullying reared its ugly head at different times. All things no parent finds pleasant, but all of them were dealt with, resolved.
Fire drills were an inevitable part of school days, and sometimes they were even welcome. A breath of fresh air during a long school day, even on the coldest days. I don't recall an actual fire the entire time I went to school, and the same is true of my children's school days. I also can't recall it being a news item I ever came across – "fire ripped through the middle school today and 18 kids died." The threat of fire just didn't seem to worry me, then or now.
Active shooter drills, while not something I ever experienced, are becoming all too real in schools all over the United States. Unlike a fire drill, the active shooter drill evokes very real feelings. We see the images on the news all the time. How can any child, of any age, not be affected? They see the images, too. They know a shooter is more likely than a fire breaking out.
Children need to think about how to react to the possibility of an active shooter, but how tragic that they have to.
Yes, our world has changed.
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