I’m a Teacher. We Are Not Safe.

What will I wear to work today? What does not need to be ironed? Is the coffee ready yet? Is it a full moon? Because if it’s a full moon I’m going to need more coffee. These are the typical thoughts that roll through my mind on any given morning while I’m getting dressed for work.

But on days like today, my morning reflections are a bit darker.

I am no one’s hero. 

I am no one’s hero. This thought rolled through my head a number of times while getting ready for work today, as I reflected about Coach Aaron Fies‘ actions, who shielded his students from bullets by using himself as the shield. Would I do that? For my own children – without hesitation. For someone else’s children, knowing that I would not go home to my own? No, no. I can’t think like this. You would be a coward. 

You are supposed to act as the children’s parents in a crisis at school. But what about my own babies? My own babies who I would want hold tight at the end of this nightmare. What about them?

Not if, but when

After I drop my babies off, I again think about what I would do if an active shooter was at my school. What’s my school’s safety plan? Who knows? It’s in a crisis plan: one that is never talked about, never practiced, never discussed. You can ask any teacher on campus, and we could all tell you at least four places on campus that a gunman could gain entry to the school with no problem. Let’s face it, if the teachers know, the students know as well.

Doors that are supposed to be locked at all times throughout the day are frequently unlocked or worse, propped open. Our campus is not fenced in – anyone could walk up and walk in with no issues. The last lock-down drill we had was about three years ago. If you asked a class full of students here what we would do in case of an active shooter, you would get 20 different responses, and at least five students answering “IDK.”

We are not prepared for the worst case scenario. We are not safe.

If things continue as they have been, this is not an if situation anymore – it’s a when

This is my school, but it could be yours. 

The fact of the matter is that the security issues that exist could cause problems for any number of issues, besides an active shooter. But an active shooter situation is my biggest fear.

The thoughts return as I’m still driving to work. Today and everyday, the same situation plays out in my head. We are not safe. We are not protected. What would we do? Lock and barricade the door, open the windows, and flee. Run, run, run for your lives kids. Would I stay here in my classroom a sitting duck waiting to have to be hero? Hell no.

I’ve heard of schools nearby that have plans in place that are practiced on a regular basis. Plans regarding what to do, how the school would be evacuated. Plans that make sense. I’m not focusing right now on the fact that such plans have to exist. I’m focusing on the fact that my school does not have a practiced plan. It would be chaos. And the loss of life would be astronomical because no one knows what to do.

And this is my school, but it just might be yours too.


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