The past few days there has been a lot of talk in our community about school safety. My kids' school sent home a note about the safety procedures currently in effect in the school. We have direct communication with two different cities to the police force and all emergency services. We have locking doors. We have specific sign in procedures.
There is one outside door open for entry. There is an interior locking entry door. The elementary school my boys attend is, over the Christmas break, moving their locked entry door closer to the main outside door. This interior door will no longer be open in the afternoons for parents, like me, who pick up kids from the after school program for working parents.
There has been a police car stationed outside of the school every day this week both in the morning and afternoon during drop-off and pick-up.
Overall I feel relatively good about my kids being at school there.
The letter home also mentioned they have "Intruder Drills." The procedure for these was not outlined so I asked Big Brother what an Intruder Drill is.
He explained that there are two types of Intruder Drills. Code Yellow and Code Red. For Code Yellow you turn off all the lights, lock and block the door, don't make any noise, and try to make it look like no one is there.
For Code Red you turn off the lights, lock and block the door, don't make any noise, and hide.
They practice hiding from intruders – shooters.
My kids are in 2nd grade and pre-k. And they practice hiding from shooters.
I know it is necessary and my brain tells me that I am tremendously happy that our school is so proactive with safety measures.
But my heart breaks.
It is just ripped into shreads.
Big Brother is 7 years old. I can't even begin to imagine life without him. Thinking about someone violating his lanky 7 year old body with bullets makes me throw up. Not metaphorically, but truly.
Little Brother is 4, almost 5. Monday, as we were eating dinner and discussing the safety letter the school sent home, he brought up that they also have fire drills and tornado drills. They practiced Intruder Drills and Fire Drills this week. I'm guessing they threw in fire drills so as not to increase any kind of panic. They were just practicing all of the drills.
As we lay in the bottom bunk reading stories that night, Little Brother just stated, "Mommy, if there was fire in your house, I would save you."
Tears immediately filled my eyes as I realized that my kids were just as concerned about my safety as I was about theirs.
And they don't know about Sandy Hook. I didn't tell them. I didn't feel a need. We did have a talk about how bad things happen in this world and if they ever heard about something bad happening, they should come talk to me about it. I just didn't feel a need to scare them. I don't watch the news around them. They need to still be kids.
I gave Little Brother a big kiss and said, "Good to know."
His response was to say, "Yep. Good to know. I'm brave for you Mommy." Then he smothered me with kisses.
Big Brother is the quiet one. He is a thinker. His quiet is sometimes deceptive though. He truly sees and hears everything. He is one of those old souls. He just added in from the top bunk, "Me too, Mommy."
I have two of the best kids ever. They are loving, giving, and brave.
I work every second of every day to make sure that I am loving, giving, and brave for them, too.