Students need to feel safe, not terrified, by going to school

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May 10, 2019 - 4:00 PM

When I was growing up, I loved school. I may have been a bit of a troublemaker, but I loved going to school. I loved being in the classroom. I loved my teachers, though I am sure a lot of them would have been surprised to know that. School was one of the places where I felt most safe. I knew when I went there that no one was going to hurt me.

Today we have children who are systematically terrorized in schools by ALICE training. If you think that your teacher giving you instructions on where to hide, how to be quiet, not to cry, when to run, and how to grab a can of soup to throw at a shooter to protect your classmates isn’t terrifying to a child, you are lying to yourself.

Once there were children that had to huddle in the halls because of fear of atomic bombs. From far away, in another country, someone might drop a bomb on the school. The idea was remote. The school in the town next to you never got bombed. The drills were like fire drills. Your school didn’t catch on fire. It was a moment out of the classroom. The fear that your school was going to catch on fire at any moment didn’t exist in your brain.

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