If you are rightfully still devastated by the school shooting that took place earlier this month, try to imagine what it's like to be a student, or a teacher, and to have those feelings of helplessness and sorrow while also setting foot in a school every day. As I go about my day, nearly every child in our nation is sitting in a classroom, the very similar scene of an all-too-familiar crime, no doubt in fear.
It's hard for us to imagine, but they are living it.
To help shed light on what that reality is like for so many kids, one teacher, Lacey Garner, wrote a Facebook post about what happened when her school's fire alarm went off unexpectedly.
Today, the fire alarm went off in our school. It was not a drill. It was not planned. Our first thought wasn’t to exit...Posted by Lacey JP on Wednesday, February 21, 2018
It's unsettling enough to know that the culture of these school shootings has caused teachers and students — who've learned all too well how to react during active-shooter lockdowns — to hesitate to follow protocol during a potential building fire. But it's of course understandable why. When 16-year-old kids began to "tear up" as Lacey told them they were going to "leave the class and walk outside," one child said, "I don't want to die."
I, for one, remember when I was in high school and a fire alarm went off without warning. I don't, however, remember being anything more than attentive. I followed directions, and that was that. I wasn't consumed with the "confusion, dread, and fear" that fill our children's minds today. I didn't worry for my life. I didn't ready myself for death.
But our kids do. As Lacey concluded: "If we are willing to give our life, could you give us your voice? Demand change. Fix this sh*t."
Because you can rest assured that the school fixed the dusty gymnasium smoke alarm that accidentally went off, but these kids? They're still breaking.