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Lockdown Drills A Necessity In NJ Schools? – IMHO

 Kindergardeners Practice Lockdown Drills
( Phil Mislinski/Getty Images)

I was on my son’s school website last night.  I noticed that my son’s K-3 school had a ‘lockdown drill’ a few days ago.  When I was a kid our school didn’t have a website.  Nor did we have snow day advisories sent via email or text message.  We listened for a siren.  We had Halloween parties where a toy sword would have been allowed as part of a pirate costume.  We called a vacation we got in December Christmas break.  We didn’t have lockdown drills.  I talked to my son about it.  He told me it was for “if a bad stranger gets into the school to hurt us”.  I asked what they had to do.  He said, “well one thing is we had to hide somewhere, like either in a closet or a bathroom.”  I asked him where he hid.  “We hid in the bathroom, but if you make a sound, even a little sound, the stranger might know you’re in there so they yell at you.”

We didn’t have lockdown drills.
I wish I could show my son what life was like for me at six years old.  We had lemonade stands where your parents didn’t have to wonder if the township would send the cops over to tell you to knock it off because you didn’t have a permit.  We played with cap guns without thinking the police might think they were real, because what six year old would possibly have a real gun?  We stayed outdoors all summer long, and could walk around our neighborhood without a grownup with us as long as we knew which streets we were allowed to walk on and when to be back.  We used our teeth to hold onto wax lips rather than to make dental impressions for our parents to give the police in the event of our disappearance.  We made our own friends without our parents having to set up “play dates” in their laptops.  We were allowed to not play with kids we didn’t like, and choose the ones we did.  We were allowed to take those first steps of independence without knowing that’s what we were doing.  We were allowed to feel like hotshots by walking two blocks to the store with just our friends to buy candy.  We were allowed to stretch our souls a bit.  When does that happen now?  I don’t even know.
I’m not saying any school is wrong for doing ‘lockdown drills’.  Not at all.  I’m just saying I wish I could take him back to 1970 and have him see what it was like.  I’m not even saying life was better then.  Maybe we were just blissfully naive.  All I’m saying is it was different, and my gut tells me there’s something kids are missing now, imho.

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