Does that headline shock you? Good. Because that is exactly how I felt.
There was an incident in a neighboring community with a student bringing a gun or replica gun into a school. I don’t know the exact details as I/we try to catch the news without the children around. They are always around. This prompted my son’s school to have an emergency drill. It was on a day when his regular teacher was not there and they had a substitute. The substitute decided to elaborate and provide plenty of detailed information to the Grade One class that my son was in.
I found out later that evening during hockey practice about what exactly happened, as I witnessed my son’s classmate/hockey teammate discuss with his mom how bad guys with guns could come into the house if they had keys. The mom handled it amazingly, as she assured her the bad guys don’t have keys to their house. I immediately quizzed the other mom privately about it and was completely shocked at what was said to the class. When the mom tried to get an explanation from the substitute that day, the substitute admitted her mistake but still went into newsworthy details about the REAL incident, all while this mom’s son was in earshot.
I casually tried to ask Jackson about school at hockey practice, but at this point, he completely avoided the questions that were raised by my conversation with “I don’t want to talk about it”.
Later that night, when 6 year olds like to stall their bedtime tuck-in’s, my lil’ guy started informing me that Code Red means a bad guy with a gun is coming into the school and Code Green means that he’s gone and it’s all clear of bad guys with guns. Jackson was also telling this in front of his stunned-gawking-open-mouthed sister Easty. Easty preceded to ask a zillion questions, as Easty does. Jackson continued to say in a worried way, how he didn’t know where to hid until one of the boys from his hockey team called him over to hid under their desk. Then he wanted to know how you can tell which bad guys have guns.
I talked with our teacher and she agreed that it was also too much information. I also talked with the Principal, who readily dealt with the situation and was very concerned as well.
It really makes me question the world that we are raising our children in. Do people not have filters? Do they not know what’s appropriate anymore to say to children? It’s one thing when it’s a stranger, it’s another thing when they are supposed to be trained to deal with children.
We take all this care to try to retain our children’s innocence/childhood to that of their appropriate age level but is it just futile when there are so many things outside our grasp that we cannot control?