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.
"A robot voice came over the speakers telling us to get into our classrooms. The teachers pulled down the blinds and made us crowd into the far corner of the classroom. We were all so scared and lots of kids were crying. My BF and I were holding each other. I hugged a kid who— Sarah Wine-Thyre 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@SarahThyre) June 6, 2018
was really scared and crying really hard. We thought we were going to die. I said just in case we die, let's remember all our good times. My BF and I sang our favorite song to each other."— Sarah Wine-Thyre 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@SarahThyre) June 6, 2018
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.
12yo: "No, everything was really quiet bc they want it to seem like no one is there so the intruder goes away. We were all just crammed together for 45 minutes and then we heard helicopters overhead and we thought we were going to be bombed. THAT was even scarier.— Sarah Wine-Thyre 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@SarahThyre) June 6, 2018
We've done drills but we knew this was for real. We were all sure we were going to die, Mom. I'm so glad we didn't die."— Sarah Wine-Thyre 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@SarahThyre) June 6, 2018
“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 child's experience of a lockdown is one of terror. They don't know what's happening until it's over. Plenty of people see this as "the price of freedom." It's appalling that we do this to kids.— Sarah Wine-Thyre 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@SarahThyre) June 6, 2018
One more thing the 12yo said? "There was one spot where the blinds weren't down all the way and we kept staring at it expecting some man's face to look in and see us and come in and kill us. We couldn't stop staring at that window."— Sarah Wine-Thyre 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@SarahThyre) June 6, 2018
Horror in real life.
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.
The first time my 5yo blithely said the words “soft lockdown” to me when I asked her about school that day it felt like a cold heavy snake dropped into my belly.— Emily Flake (@EmilyFlake) June 7, 2018
Ugh, this is heart wrenching Sarah. My 5yo does active shooter drills but it's unnamed. "We all cram into the playhouse, 27 of us there, and we have to be silent while the teacher stands by the door." The thought of dead kids in that playhouse rips me apart.— Carl Arnheiter (@carlarnheiter) June 7, 2018
My son's school did several lock down drills. One time in kindergarten a few months after Sandy Hook I picked him up from one. There was a white file label on his back: Name, DOB, Sex, Grade, Phone Nos. I cried when I thought of the significance of what this sticker was used for— SharronDrake (@SharronDrake) June 6, 2018
My son is autistic and has a hard time understanding and following directions. He's had lock down drills at pre-school, but I'm sick with worry about how he's going to handle a different kind of scenario when he starts Kindergarten in the fall.— Texty the Social Justice Bard (@textualdeviance) June 7, 2018
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.