When I was 20 years old and decided to change from broadcast journalism to education, there was a multitude of things that were running through my mind, learning childhood psychology, becoming as informed as possible in my content area, how a classroom should be run, you name it.
Something that never crossed my mind though is the thought that there are people in this world who would possibly want to harm my students and myself, that active shooter drills have become a commonplace occurrence in schools across America is a harsh, cold reality that I still can't wrap my mind around.
Before I go any further, let me state this very clearly, I am not saying these drills shouldn't be ran, they are necessary, and I applaud the Wayne County Board of Education and all other educational institutions that run them for their efforts to protect teachers and students, I am merely lamenting the fact that they are needed.
I have three children in the school system, two at Ceredo-Kenova Elementary School and one at C-K Middle, and I trust their teachers with their education and their well-being, just as I am entrusted with the welfare of over a hundred students that come into my classroom daily. But, I found myself in tears last week when my four-year-old son came home talking about his cool, new drill that he and his classmates ran that day. I knew it was an active shooter drill, I knew it was coming, but hearing my little boy talk about hiding and getting to safety affected me in a way that shook me.
These kids thought they were playing a game, he was having a blast, but I know his teachers and administrators were having serious feelings as I was. As teachers, we value your children and would do anything to protect them; it's just a damn shame it would ever come to that in this country.