When I was in second and third grade, I can remember having drills where we would go out in the hallway, sit on the floor with our backs against the wall, put our heads on our knees, and finally, put our hands on our heads. This was to protect us in the event of nuclear attack. I remember being afraid that if some man named Barry Goldwater got elected as President, there would be nuclear war.
The first time I heard the term “lock-down” outside of a TV prison riot, was when my daughter and some friends were talking about a lock-down drill that they had had in school that day. I asked them what a lock-down drill was. They told me that they practice what to do if a person or persons enter the school with guns and start shooting people. I asked them what they practice.
It goes something like this.
Two students are assigned to move the teachers desk to block the door. One student is assigned to turn off the lights. The other students then pile desks and/or chairs on the teacher’s desk (they don’t actually practice this part). Then they all go to a corner of the room, out of line of the door, and stay on the floor away from all windows. They are allowed to call and text out. My daughter told me I would be the first person she would text. I asked her to call just to make sure she got hold of me quickly.
My daughter was going to a vocational high school, so she and her friends then calmly discussed the advantages of being trapped in one of the shop areas instead of in one of the classrooms. The shop areas have back doors and the shop teachers have told them that they can try to escape into the woods as long as they know the shooter(s) are on a different floor.
They discussed which would be better, running out one at a time? If they did, they would have to draw straws to see who would go first, as someone could be waiting outside. The first one out would probably get shot. Or, would it be better to all run out at once and run as a pack to the woods? Or, is it better to all run out at once and scatter in different directions?
I was standing there calmly going through the motions of getting dinner ready,
while inside my head I was, well…
I was keening…
I was rending my soul and drowning in ashes…
I was shrieking, and, weeping, and wailing with Rachel for all our children.
Weeping and wailing with Rachel…
…for all our murdered children.