This 12-Year-Old's Account Of A School Lockdown Drill Proves We're Terrorizing Our Kids

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 
Image via Twitter/Sarah Wine-Thyre

This play-by-play account of how kids feel during a lockdown is a must-read

It’s difficult to imagine what anyone would feel during a school lockdown, especially a child. One mom shared her 12-year-old daughter’s account of what happened during a recent lockdown experience. What she describes is heartbreaking — and chilling.

Actor and mom Sarah Wine-Thyre thought it was important for people to understand exactly how a child feels during a lockdown, so she asked her daughter to share her perspective.

Receiving an alert that your child’s school is on lockdown has to be one of the most heart-stopping moments parents face today. Experiencing an actual lockdown — while sadly now a regular occurrence in most U.S. schools — feels far from normal.

Heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking. Recently, a lockdown drill poster inside a kindergarten classroom went viral because the drill routine was set to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Wine-Thyre says when she picked up her daughter from school, it was apparent all the kids were visibly shaken. Since the school’s lockdown is silent, the children aren’t aware of what’s occurring as it unfolds. Only the parents are notified via text. So she asked her daughter if the kids were being updated as the ordeal unfolded.

“We were all sure we were going to die, Mom.” I think my heart would stop if I ever hear my daughter say something to that effect after a day at school. It’s the most gut-wrenching sentence I’ve ever read. Reportedly, there was an “unidentified intruder on campus” at her daughter’s school. While everyone was safe in the end and the threat was just that — a threat — it’s unfathomable to comprehend how we got here.

A chilling statement like that coming from a child who should feel safe in school is hands-down the most depressing thing about where we are as a country. And Wine-Thyre’s daughter, though her school’s lockdown wasn’t a drill, isn’t alone — according to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of 2015-16 “lockdown drills” were being performed in 94.6 percent of schools in the U.S.

Lockdown drills. In preschool.

Perhaps what’s so frustrating about the gun violence crisis in schools is that so much of it could be avoided with common sense gun laws. When mass shootings occur, the immediate response is to stage lockdown drills and create policies centered on how to make schools “safe” — remember Florida’s response to Parkland was to vote to arm teachers? When will the time come where we focus on what will make the world a less violent place for our children to live?

If you’re interested in being part of the solution, join Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America here.

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