Ever since 17 people were murdered at the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last week, many people have been wondering: how do we protect our kids in a world where school shootings aren’t that uncommon?
In the few shorts weeks of 2018, there have been 18 school shootings in the United States. The one in Parkland, Florida was one of the deadliest mass shootings, period, in U.S. history. With little else preventing another shooting from happening again, schools are now practicing active shooter drills to prepare students for the worst.
Facebook user Tanai Benard decided to ask her son whether his school had prepared him for a mass shooting, and his response left her shaken.
Tanai wrote on the conversation in a Facebook post:
My 5th grader and I were conversing on the way to work/school this morning. As an educator, I wanted to be sure he and his classmates were taking the school safety drills seriously and not using it as a time to socialize and goof off.
Me: Have you guys praticed a lockdown drill in class yet?
Dez: Are you talking about an active shooter drill?
Dez: Yes, we practiced it
Me: So tell me what you are suppose to do.
Dez: The teacher is suppose to shut and lock the door, put the black paper over the window on the door.
Then myself and three other boys are suppose to push the table against the door.
After that all the class is going to stand behind us on the back wall.
Unsurprisingly, this piece of information shocked Tanai. Who wants to hear that their child is supposed to be guarding the rest of the class?
Me: The class is suppose to stand behind who?
Dez: Me and the other 3 boys. We stand at the front and they get behind us.
*I internally went from 0 to 100 real quick. My child is one of only 2 black children in a class of 23. Being transparent, I immediately went to the “why is my black son being put on the front line?” (Just being real) So I asked before I verbally stated my thoughts*
And this is where the conversation took a truly emotional turn:
Me: Why did you get picked to stand in front of everyone else if a shooter came in your school?
Dez: I didn’t get picked. I volunteered to push the table and protect my friends
Me: 😯*immediate nausea * Dez why would you volunteer to do that?
Dez: If it came down to it I would rather be the one that died protecting my friends then have an entire class die and I be the only one that lived
Father God, it took everything out of me not to breakdown. I still have a lump in my throat. 10 damn years old and this has to be our babies thought process in America.
While his response was beautiful, it was also incredibly heartbreaking. The fact that any child is prepared to die in a situation that’s become all too prevalent in the United States is an absolutely devastating thought.
Our country deserve better. These children deserve better. We owe them better.