Today an automated call from my daughters’ school scared the hell out of me.
It’s a phone call any parent dreads getting. My wife answered her phone in the office next to the kitchen. The phone was on speaker mode and I listened as I was preparing my breakfast.
The voice, not dissimilar to Siri, started announcing the intro speaking, “Goodmorning Cornerstone Families…” Seemed odd to be getting a call from the school at 9 AM. The second those words were spoken my heart melted into my gut.
Instantly my mind raced to the possibility this was notification something horrific was or had occurred.
That brief point in time lumped a knot in my throat leaving me on the edge of boiling fear.
I stopped making my food to listen, my body stopped, my mind stopped, my breathing stopped. Anticipating the next words hurt too much.
Blank hopefulness held my whole being on pause.
The following electronic words were as comforting and relieving as any will ever be, “this is a reminder that Friday is a student holiday…” My soul let out an exasperation equivalent to that of winning the recent billion dollars plus lottery.
Complacency Will Not Stand!
What is it any of us can do if a determined individual(s) with malicious disturbing intent decides to find their way into our children’s school and hunt them? How can we fight back? How can we prevent?
This entire conundrum enrages me, makes me wonder why these challenged perpetrators of evil haven’t been apprehended and helped prior to the act, and wonder where our world is headed.
It’s not just guns, but knives, explosives, and plain old physical brutality coupled with bullying greater than anything experienced prior to social networks.
Writing and all forms of media must unite in not just reporting but denouncing this violence with much greater intensity. It seems we forget about tragedies easily until the next one grabs the headlines.
We should not forget about one school tragedy. Our children deserve this! There is no time to just “Move-on.”
All parents have the obligation to call school administrators and express concern about school security practices. Show up to school meetings and vote for representatives that support strong school security protocols.
We are in an age of cognitive dissonance and there is no telling which person around you may be on a drug that supposedly lessens their depression or other diagnosed or undiagnosed mental disorder. We have no way of telling if these drugs are affecting people in one of the possible effects that are not intended.
So how to be calm, stay rational, and be secure with your children’s school?
Be active in your school’s society. Talk to the police at the school and ask them about their security protocols. Speak to your PTA, your principal, your children’s teachers. Take time to observe the school your children go to and watch how it operates.
When you vote for representatives, state or federal, remember to make sure they back the school security you want for your children.
These are some of the things we can affect and change beyond the safest which is homeschooling your children. I don’t have the resources to homeschool my children but that is a great way to ensure safety.
Meditate on doing what you can. Be passionate about your concern with actions.
These actions take time. Many don’t seem to have the time. Work, taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, taking the kids to school, laundry, bills, and a million other things. Make time!
Don’t do it all at once.
A concerned phone call. Dropping the kids off at school and paying attention to the daily operations. Talking to other concerned parents and school administrators whenever possible. Go to the Meet The Teacher night.
Any little step can and will help. Being informed is part of the proactive approach.
Be mindful of the things you can not change and let go but be vigilant that you have a part in your children’s safety.
I may still hold my breath every time the School calls and my heart may stop with fear in expectation of hearing dreadful news but I will be calm in knowing that I have acted to help my children be more secure.
Let us all meditate and think of a day, hopefully soon, that all schools have security that will prevent senseless violence threatening any child at school.
And, in the meantime the next time I answer an automated call from the school I will concentrate on listening without assuming.