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As a Parent of School Aged Children, Do All the CopyCats Scare You?

Posted by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM
  • 8 Replies

Copycat Threats After Sandy Hook Make Parents Worry About Kids' Safety

Sandy HookIt feels like the world has gone mad in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Today alone, there were two lock-downs reported, one at a school outside Philadelphia and another in Connecticut again. And, in Ohio, a high school student posted on Facebook that he could "do better" than the Newtown shooting that killed 26 people, while in LA, another person threatened to kill more elementary students

The bottom line question all parents are asking is this: Are our kids safe?

It's chilling. And as a parent, it's our worst nightmare come alive. We all know the likelihood of something happening to our children at school is statistically so very low. But that didn't stop the fear I saw this morning in parents' eyes at drop-off. It didn't stop the sadness in the teachers' hearts and the tears I cried in my car once my last little baby toddled off, his backpack on his back, blond head bobbing obliviously down the shiny halls of his pre-k building.

It's a scary world we live in right now, and the fact is everyone is afraid.

Everyone was wondering if it was "really" safe to send our kids today. After leaving my son, I immediately wanted to turn around and go back, just to hold him one more time. But it is. It really is.

Even with copycat potential and lock-downs. It feels like the world has gone mad, but this is perhaps the safest day in the history of schools. We have all been through a collective trauma, but last Friday's events weren't a sign of things to come. They aren't a signal that elementary schools are becoming less safe. If anything, they could be getting safer.

But we are right to worry all the same. These school shootings do seem to get progressively worse. Even a horror movie wouldn't dare touch the mass slaughter of 6-year-olds at an elementary school. It's simply too awful to even consider. We are all traumatized.

Our first instinct is to lock down the schools, to jump on every threat, and to arrest any person who says something inflammatory. It's a good instinct and will keep our kids safe. But it can't last forever. We will go back to "normal" at some point. It should be our profound hope that our new normal takes threats seriously, examines mental health more closely, and understands that the worst can happen while also leaving room for the vastly more likely scenario that it won't.

Do all these lock-downs and copycats scare you?

by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM
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Replies (1-8):
VickyJoJo
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I won't let it scare me.  Our school system is doing a great job of reinforcing safety protocols and has practiced lock-downs in the past and will do so again the future.  The sad reality is that an act of violence is beyond the control of the everyday individual.  I cannot and will not let fear rule my life or the life of my family.  We can exercise precaution and be on alert but we should not give in to fear.

Barabell
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM


Quoting VickyJoJo:

I won't let it scare me.  Our school system is doing a great job of reinforcing safety protocols and has practiced lock-downs in the past and will do so again the future.  The sad reality is that an act of violence is beyond the control of the everyday individual.  I cannot and will not let fear rule my life or the life of my family.  We can exercise precaution and be on alert but we should not give in to fear.

Very well said. I agree with you 100%.

M4LG5
by Valeri on Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM


Quoting VickyJoJo:

I won't let it scare me.  Our school system is doing a great job of reinforcing safety protocols and has practiced lock-downs in the past and will do so again the future.  The sad reality is that an act of violence is beyond the control of the everyday individual.  I cannot and will not let fear rule my life or the life of my family.  We can exercise precaution and be on alert but we should not give in to fear.

All I can do is provide my children and myself confidence that we are as safe as we can be.  I will not threaten to take my kids out of school or to do things differently that could affect my happiness just because I'm afraid of what may happen.  I cannot control other people but I can control myself and I CHOOSE to live as I was living before.....but with a little more caution.  I think events like these to provide us a reminder to be safe and responsible as best as WE can.

TempestRayne
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM
Yep. I am terrified. All I can do is trust that my kids' school can handle whatever happens.
acrylicmom
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 6:17 PM

 It scares me because my dd and ds are in portables that aren't as protected as the rest of the school.  When they are on lock-down they hide under their desks.  There are no closets or hallways to hide in for them.  Their doors are locked on the outside and you have to knock to get into the room but they send a kid to answer the door.  There is no real way to know who is knocking and they just open it.  It scares me now. :( And there is a fence around the whole school  but there is an open gate for one of the car drives and anyone can walk or drive up the "out" lane. :(  I am thinking of talking to the school board about it but I am sure that they are well aware of the saftey shortcomings of our school since the CT tragedy....

Rogue35
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 8:48 PM
Yes it scares me I have cried the past two mournings after I dropped my girls off to school. I want to know how you train a 5 year old on what to do if a shooter gets into the school. My school on Monday sent out a phone message about the school shooting and expressed that they do drills and explained what they were doing so our kids are safe.
akgrear
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I was a little worried about copycats. My kids came home on Monday and told me that their schools are now keeping all doors locked (classroom doors) and if you want in you have to knock. I felt a little better after that but then today we went to my son's fifth grade spelling bee. We walked into the front office with no problems. All we had to do was sign our name on a list for the spelling bee. We could have put Mr. and Mrs. Scooby Doo and they would have never noticed, then we got a sticker and for our shirts and were sent out into the hallways with kids going to and from different places. In the office I even hung back and my husband went up and signed us in and all I could think was how easy it could be. I said something to my husband afterwards and he said he had thought the same thing. I had thought they at least were going to check I.D.s or ask to see our invitations but they didn't.

kmrtigger
by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM


Quoting M4LG5:


Quoting VickyJoJo:

I won't let it scare me.  Our school system is doing a great job of reinforcing safety protocols and has practiced lock-downs in the past and will do so again the future.  The sad reality is that an act of violence is beyond the control of the everyday individual.  I cannot and will not let fear rule my life or the life of my family.  We can exercise precaution and be on alert but we should not give in to fear.

All I can do is provide my children and myself confidence that we are as safe as we can be.  I will not threaten to take my kids out of school or to do things differently that could affect my happiness just because I'm afraid of what may happen.  I cannot control other people but I can control myself and I CHOOSE to live as I was living before.....but with a little more caution.  I think events like these to provide us a reminder to be safe and responsible as best as WE can.

I have to agree with both of these ladies.

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