Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I volunteer once a week in Max's classroom. I listen to the kids read books or have them read their latest story to me. I offer encouragement and a little extra one on one time. For the most part, it's gratifying and it gives me a deep deep appreciation for Max's teacher and the work she does in the classroom. It has the added benefit of giving me a chance to watch Max interact with his classmates and get to know them a little better. It helps to know who's who.

Today was like any other day until about halfway through my volunteer session when the bell rang three times. Complete silence fell over the classroom and they all lined up amazing fast. Fire drill. We walked outside and stood in a line facing the building. (This is how we stood in the fire drills of my childhood too but I have no idea why. ) It's what came next that completely freaked me out.

We filed back into the school and the teacher in charge said "lockdown" as we walked into the building. In eerie silence the kids filed into the classroom, lined up facing the wall, then they sat on the floor, crouching down, making themselves as small as possible. I realized this was so they could not be seen through the window panel in the door or the classroom windows, in case someone with a gun…

and at the point my brain just froze.

The teacher quickly got the kids back to work but I was trembling. I can't believe Max has never mentioned this to me. The kids were very nonchalant and knew exactly what to do, so I'm sure it's a familiar drill. It was stunning to see how casually they practiced hiding from a gunman! It may be no big deal to Max but I am certain I will have bad dreams tonight.


  1. scary times we live in!!! I remember as a child having to hide under our desks for bomb scares.

  2. This doesn't make me feel good...actually, I have nothing more to say--I'm too stunned...

  3. wow. i'm with karen on this other thoughts but "wow".

  4. My heart goes out to you. Am speechless.

  5. I had an email exchange with Max's teacher last night and she assures me the lockdown drill is presented to the kids in the least scary way possible. (I believe this because Max didn't even mention it.) It's just a part of the fire drill.

    On one hand,(now that I've calmed down a bit)I'm glad the school takes safety and security so seriously. On the other hand, I'm sad that we live in a world where this is necessary.