The first time I heard my 3 year old daughter talk about hiding in the bathroom at school I was confused, but definitely not frightened. I often have to put the pieces of her stories together to understand the context. Even though she is a well-articulated child, she is still a super excited little girl who likes to ramble on about a million things at once, some imaginary stories mixed in.
So when she mentioned that they had to hide in the bathroom for a drill it really did not click in. It was only recently when she used the word ‘lockdown’, it finally occurred to me what it was. Oh that terrible word that we have come to hate in recent years from all the mass shootings in schools down south.
When your 3 year old tells you that she had to hide in the bathroom for a lockdown drill it conjures up the worst images. It finally sank in for me. My little girl is now out in the world facing real-life situations. There is no safe bubble anymore. There are issues like stranger danger, bullying, peer pressure and of course school lockdowns to worry about. I just can’t imagine the poor children in a kindergarten class trying to understand why they have to hide quietly in the bathroom on the dirty floor contrary to what they are normally told, and the teacher who feels the responsibility of these little lives under her care.
Thankfully my daughter did not seem scared. Perhaps they did it like a game. I highly doubt the kids in her class realized what they were actually preparing for – a random act of violence by someone with an utter disregard for people’s lives.
It is mandatory for all publicly funded school boards in Ontario to establish a lockdown policy and conduct lockdown drills. I never had to go through a lockdown drill growing up so it makes me feel really sad to know that our children have to prepare for such situations. I dread that moment when I may get a call that the school is in lockdown. I pray that it will never happen as it is a parent’s worse nightmare. But of course, we must prepare ourselves for the possibility of such threats to our children as they are now a part of their reality.