Last year my daughters’ school had a false alarm for an active shooter. For 45 minutes the teachers and students sat locked and huddled in their classrooms not knowing it was a false alarm. I didn’t know about it until afterward. I was busy at work and didn’t see all the posts popping up on social media asking why the swat team was at my daughters’ school. By the time I saw the concerned text messages and got notification from the school the situation had been resolved and we knew it was a false alarm.
The new Sandy Hook Promise PSA shows children during an active shooter situation while explaining how useful their new school supplies are. how something horrific, something no child should ever experience, is just part of their day. We expect and plan for these horrific events to happen at our schools while silently praying it never happens to us.
This is the reality for our kids today. They think having lockdown drills is part of the regular school day. My daughters were surprised to learn that I didn’t do lockdown drills when I was in school (Columbine happened my senior year).
Our educators and law enforcement practice for these situations regularly now. Gun violence and school shootings have been so normalized this is just part of regular training and expectations.
The point of this commercial wasn’t to debate gun legislation but to create awareness: know the signs. The majority of school shootings are preplanned and not by just a couple of days or weeks. They are between 6 – 12 months in the making. There were signs. The signs were missed.
Promise to talk with your kids, pay attention to your kids, actively listen to your kids and know the signs. Seek help if needed. Have your kids learn the signs as well. Teach them to be inclusive and never be afraid to say something.
Do everything you can to educate your family, your friends and your community. Promise to do what you can to protect them from gun violence. Hopefully, with education and awareness, the American epidemic of school shootings can see a reduction in frequency.
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