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Photo Credit: Stacey Wehrman Feeley

I don’t want to think about it. I want to live in my bubble, in my protected small world that you can so easily live in when you’re raising small children, when your world is bus stops and swim lessons and shows on Disney Junior.

“I cry every time I tell the class, ‘If you’re outside during a drill or a lockdown, don’t waste your time knocking on a locked door because we won’t be able to open it for you,’ and where they should go in that situation. It is utterly unacceptable that we should have these conversations with elementary school children and that they should even worry about the possibility of a mass shooting in a place that should be the safest place for them during the day other than their homes. ”  Rebecca Slater, M.Ed., NBCT

I love taking my kids outside in the summer sun, to feel the warmth of the day on our arms and faces, to kick soccer balls and blow bubbles and get the ice cream truck.

One day during a monthly intruder drill, my sixth grade class was feeling rowdy. They moved into the corner, but didn’t stay silent. They whispered and giggled and tried to stifle their jokes as administrators made their way around the school, checking that all rooms were in compliance. When everything was okay, we were told to turn on our lights and go back to our class.
An administrator was at my doorway in seconds. My students hadn’t even made it back to their seats yet.

“Do you think this is funny?” He bellowed. “You are noisy. You are loud, and guess what? The guy with the gun comes to this room. And you are all dead. You want to be shot? Is it funny now??”

No one laughed.

I want to send my child on the bus to school without having that terrifying thought skip through my mind. That thought that I have to actively push away each morning. What if…no, no, no…I don’t even let myself finish the thought. But I make sure he hears me. “I love you! Have a great day!” I push it out of my head. Every. Single. Day.

The moment she told me what she was doing I broke down. She was practicing for a lockdown drill at her preschool and what you should do if you are stuck in a bathroom. At that moment all innocence of what I thought my three-year-old possessed was gone. Politicians – take a look. This is your child, your children, your grandchildren, your great grand children and future generations to come. They will live their lives and grow up in this world based on your decisions. They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats. I do not know what will be harder for them? Trying to remain quiet for an extended amount of time or trying to keep their balance without letting a foot slip below the stall door?”  Stacey Wehrman Feeley, Facebook post

School is a safe place. Childhood is cheerful.

Gun legislation is intricate. Gun laws are complicated.

Childhood is simple.

Or at least, it’s supposed to be.


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