Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lockdown drills

Today after school we had a staff meeting. No big deal, staff meetings are normal. One of the topics that we discussed made me sad, though. As you can tell by the title of this post, it was the topic of lockdown.

I completely understand the necessity of having a procedure and a policy for lockdown. I also understand that in order for the procedure to work well, just as in the case of fire or tornado alarms, there must be practice. The thing that makes me sad is that there is a need for this sort of thing. There is a very real danger in the world today that students, teachers, or strangers could walk onto the campus of my school with the intent to harm themselves, others, or both. That breaks my heart. What makes violence the answer? What makes people, especially children, think that they can solve their problems by using violence or that anything is so bad that they need to harm themselves? I know this is no new phenomena, but I am still curious.

I think it was Shane Claiborne that wrote about how violence teaches violence, and until we as a nation stop dealing with our problems through violence, we will continue to have violence in our nation, as well. I'm not saying that I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Claiborne, but I do think it kinda makes sense. I don't want to blame the media or blame the government. And I certainly don't want to blame parents or teachers. It can't just be in the water, though. Something must have changed over the past 40 years (that is an insignificant number...I know that it is more than ten years but probably less than 50). When my parents were in school there was no thought in anyone's mind that a kid or anyone for that matter would bring a gun to school. What's changed?

Suicide among teenagers has always been an issue, I feel. It seems more and more apparent, though. I try to teach my students not to even joke about something as serious as killing themselves. What makes them think it's okay in the first place?

My heart yearns for hope to spread. I want to see people really believe that there is purpose to this life, and that they are loved. I'm going to work on showing that more. And believing it more myself, too. :-)

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