Author Topic: Parents: How Concerned Are You About School Shootings/Lockdown Drills  (Read 2384 times)

kenmoremmm

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i have a 2 y.o. and a newborn, and the thought of them going to school in 2+ years is eating at me, knowing that they will be subjected to lockdown drills, actual lockdowns, and perpetual fears of a psycho coming to school and lining the place with bullets. i am looking to get out of the US for this reason alone, but i realize the probability of an actual shooting is very very small (at least in 2019, i'm sure it'll keep getting worse for many reasons).

i've talked to some others and i hear a lot of rationalizations and justifications and that kind of "logic" doesn't resonate with me. sure, there was duck and cover with the USSR and nukes, so sure, school shootings are just an extension of that............ right.

gooki

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I live in relatively safe NZ, and my young kids have been through two lockdowns in their first 4 years of schooling.

No onsite incidents, so thankful for that. But the saving grace is how awesome the school handles the incidents. They have emergency stashes of food and water, they donít lie to the kids, they just omit details the children donít need to know and leave it up to the parents to fill in the blanks. They update the parents regularly. Last time I picked them up, they were happy and smiling.

But at the end of the day, Iím not in a location where I worry about school shootings, so that makes these lockdowns easy to handle. My bigger worry is earthquakes, but our school buildings appear structurally sound, and our kids know the drill.

Hula Hoop

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I'm surprised that you would have lockdown drills in NZ.  Here in Italy, our kids have had earthquake drills, real earthquakes and fire drills but no school shooter drills as that just never happens here.  Frankly, as an American bringing up kids overseas, this is one of the reasons we have stayed here. 

GuitarStv

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It's generally a good idea to perform emergency drills in any classroom.  The thing about a lockdown drill is that I'm not entirely sure they serve much purpose.  Typically children huddle silently in their locked classes and hope for the police to arrive before they're gunned down.  There's little that's going to do to prevent their death.

That said, these drills are certainly good for the economy.  Fear and distrust are the reasons that people buy guns.  It's hard to build greater fear than telling children that they need to regularly practice being gunned down by their friends.  It's hard instill in bad people a greater desire to own a gun than by regularly telling them that owning one will make powerful enough to force all of their friends to cower in silence.  America doesn't want to fix their guns laws.  OK, whatever.  At least you can make some money from the situation.

Cool Friend

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America doesn't want to fix  ___________.  OK, whatever.  At least you can make some money from the situation.

So many other issues can be subbed into this cultural attitude too.

economista

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I donít have any kids yet but Iím 18 weeks pregnant and my husband is very concerned about this. He currently feels like he doesnít want our child to ever attend a school, and definitely not a public school (catholic school may be an option). Iíve tried pointing out to him that homeschooling isnít a very logical choice and we have 5 years before we need to figure this out, but he currently feels very strongly about it. We are in Denver and this school year I think the schools around us were locked down at least once a month, if not more often. They lock down now anytime there is any hint of violence anywhere near a school so even near-by calls to the police when they think a gun is involved results in lockdowns at the schools. We are both worried about what kind of environment that is for the kids and what kinds of fear and anxiety are developing as a result.

One

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Chance of school shooting is so low, way more likely to die in a car accident. Probably some psychological damage to the kids from all the fear mongering. Long term, the kids will grow and vote to get rid of the guns. 

Aelias

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My oldest kid started kindergarten this year, and in addition to a lockdown drill, they've had two lockdown events: the first one, someone called the school to say someone had a gun (turned out to be a kid playing a prank), the second was an armed bank robbery about a mile away, and the cops asked them to lockdown as a precaution.

I'm not going to lie -- my heart skips a beat when I get the "Lockdown in Progress" email.  That will never not be scary, because we all know how it can end.

But, you have to keep it in perspective.  The chances of your kid being injured or killed by an active shooter at school are vanishingly small.  In many ways, kids in the US are safer than ever. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0469882e2d46

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/4/8546497/crime-rate-america
https://www.parenting.com/news-break/its-all-about-numbers-us-kids-are-safer-now-years-past

On the other hand, the greatest dangers to kids (depending on their age) are things like suffocating, drowning, accidents, burns, poisoning, and -- far and away the big one -- vehicle accidents.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/genlsafe.htm

So, just do the things you know you're supposed to do -- Keep them in a carseat. Make them wear a helmet.  Don't leave them unsupervised, especially near water.  When they're little, look out for choking and suffocation hazards.  Take them to the doctor when they need it.  If you have guns in the house, make sure they're secure.

Life is scary, and there are no guarantees that any child will have the safe, loving childhood they deserve.  But there's a lot parents can and should do, and most of it is not rocket science. 


Gin1984

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I am extremely concerned.

ncornilsen

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My oldest kid started kindergarten this year, and in addition to a lockdown drill, they've had two lockdown events: the first one, someone called the school to say someone had a gun (turned out to be a kid playing a prank), the second was an armed bank robbery about a mile away, and the cops asked them to lockdown as a precaution.

I'm not going to lie -- my heart skips a beat when I get the "Lockdown in Progress" email.  That will never not be scary, because we all know how it can end.

But, you have to keep it in perspective.  The chances of your kid being injured or killed by an active shooter at school are vanishingly small.  In many ways, kids in the US are safer than ever. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0469882e2d46

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/4/8546497/crime-rate-america
https://www.parenting.com/news-break/its-all-about-numbers-us-kids-are-safer-now-years-past

On the other hand, the greatest dangers to kids (depending on their age) are things like suffocating, drowning, accidents, burns, poisoning, and -- far and away the big one -- vehicle accidents.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/genlsafe.htm

So, just do the things you know you're supposed to do -- Keep them in a carseat. Make them wear a helmet.  Don't leave them unsupervised, especially near water.  When they're little, look out for choking and suffocation hazards.  Take them to the doctor when they need it.  If you have guns in the house, make sure they're secure.

Life is scary, and there are no guarantees that any child will have the safe, loving childhood they deserve.  But there's a lot parents can and should do, and most of it is not rocket science. 



This. 

I'm not sure if I support the idea of doing the drills... I don't know if the drills to help the children prepare outweigh the added stress and creation of a perception that this is likely to happen.


cloudsail

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It's a concern for me, and factored into our decision to have both our kids attend a small alternative school with a lot of adults on site, a keypad locked entrance, and so small that most people who live here don't even know of its existence. They do still hold lockdown drills, and it basically involves the teachers locking the classroom doors, turning off the lights, and the kids huddling in a corner being totally silent.

ChpBstrd

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My oldest kid started kindergarten this year, and in addition to a lockdown drill, they've had two lockdown events: the first one, someone called the school to say someone had a gun (turned out to be a kid playing a prank), the second was an armed bank robbery about a mile away, and the cops asked them to lockdown as a precaution.

I'm not going to lie -- my heart skips a beat when I get the "Lockdown in Progress" email.  That will never not be scary, because we all know how it can end.

But, you have to keep it in perspective.  The chances of your kid being injured or killed by an active shooter at school are vanishingly small.  In many ways, kids in the US are safer than ever. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0469882e2d46

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/4/8546497/crime-rate-america
https://www.parenting.com/news-break/its-all-about-numbers-us-kids-are-safer-now-years-past

On the other hand, the greatest dangers to kids (depending on their age) are things like suffocating, drowning, accidents, burns, poisoning, and -- far and away the big one -- vehicle accidents.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/genlsafe.htm

So, just do the things you know you're supposed to do -- Keep them in a carseat. Make them wear a helmet.  Don't leave them unsupervised, especially near water.  When they're little, look out for choking and suffocation hazards.  Take them to the doctor when they need it.  If you have guns in the house, make sure they're secure.

Life is scary, and there are no guarantees that any child will have the safe, loving childhood they deserve.  But there's a lot parents can and should do, and most of it is not rocket science.

^
Bravo

Having a fact-based worldview goes a long way toward relieving media-induced anxiety. Yet, notice how much longer the message has to be and how we expect more references. Notice our innate resistance to the bearer of statistics and evidence who tries to outweigh the panic of the herd. Yes, itís a big problem that our politics is failing to address, but it does not justify the ďmaybe Iím nextĒ anxiety parents are feeling, nor does it justify radical steps in oneís personal life.

To keep your kids safer, put your medications out of reach, leave your abusive SO, quit smoking, and refuse to use your cell phone while driving. Do all those things and you will have eliminated more overall risk than your kids are exposed to from school shootings.

meerkat

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We are in Denver and this school year I think the schools around us were locked down at least once a month, if not more often.

I have a three year old that goes to a public elementary school to receive ESE services. They do lock down drills once a month and I think they've had one "real" lock down because a shed had been messed with. My son calls then "Knock knock drills" because I think part of it is everyone has to be really really quiet and even if someone in the hall comes to knock on the door they need to stay quiet. As an adult I know what the implications of that are - the person knocking might one day be a shooter so they're pretending to be an empty classroom - but he doesn't know that. He doesn't even really understand what guns are despite loving "bad guy game!" and saying "pew pew pew" at home (I'm working on that).

Aside from my instinctive "My baby! What is the world coming to!" internal freak out, rationally it's not that different from fire drills. It's a drill, one is for staying inside and one is for going outside. If there's a tornado, they already know the basics of "Be quiet and do what teacher says" because they've practiced. Do I still have Feelings every time I get an email or text about their monthly drill or a non-drill? Of course. Do I think arming the teachers is absolute insanity? Hell yes. But at the end of the day I try to keep that all to myself and not put my adult baggage onto my three year old when he mentions doing a knock knock drill at school along with reading books and feeding the classroom pet.

kenmoremmm

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But at the end of the day I try to keep that all to myself and not put my adult baggage onto my three year old when he mentions doing a knock knock drill at school along with reading books and feeding the classroom pet.

per your signature line ("Will this matter in ten years?"), are you concerned about 10 years of drills combined with the fact that a 13 year old will damn well know what a lockdown drill is really about and will have developed anxiety resulting from it?

ChpBstrd

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I think we all have a wild ability to normalize societyís reactions to scary things.

Why do we have to go through a body scanner at the airport?
Why is there a child resistant lid on the medicine bottle?
Why is the government allowed to read your emails and texts, or locate your smartphone?
Why do we have a smoke detector?
Why do children need to ride in a car seat?
Why are you telling me not to get in a car with a stranger?

Every one of these topics goes back to a series of tragedies. It all becomes background noise (and background anxiety) after a while.

TVRodriguez

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My oldest kid started kindergarten this year, and in addition to a lockdown drill, they've had two lockdown events: the first one, someone called the school to say someone had a gun (turned out to be a kid playing a prank), the second was an armed bank robbery about a mile away, and the cops asked them to lockdown as a precaution.

I'm not going to lie -- my heart skips a beat when I get the "Lockdown in Progress" email.  That will never not be scary, because we all know how it can end.

But, you have to keep it in perspective.  The chances of your kid being injured or killed by an active shooter at school are vanishingly small.  In many ways, kids in the US are safer than ever. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0469882e2d46

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/4/8546497/crime-rate-america
https://www.parenting.com/news-break/its-all-about-numbers-us-kids-are-safer-now-years-past

On the other hand, the greatest dangers to kids (depending on their age) are things like suffocating, drowning, accidents, burns, poisoning, and -- far and away the big one -- vehicle accidents.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/genlsafe.htm

So, just do the things you know you're supposed to do -- Keep them in a carseat. Make them wear a helmet.  Don't leave them unsupervised, especially near water.  When they're little, look out for choking and suffocation hazards.  Take them to the doctor when they need it.  If you have guns in the house, make sure they're secure.

Life is scary, and there are no guarantees that any child will have the safe, loving childhood they deserve.  But there's a lot parents can and should do, and most of it is not rocket science.

This.  All of this.

In the 1950s, my mother in elementary school was told to hide under a desk in drills that were supposed to simulate air raids or bombings.  As if that would help. 

This is not new, although it totally does suck dropping my kids off at school the day after any school shooting, and yes, I do give them an extra hug and kiss on those days.

Honestly, though, climate change is scarier.  No drills against that.

meerkat

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But at the end of the day I try to keep that all to myself and not put my adult baggage onto my three year old when he mentions doing a knock knock drill at school along with reading books and feeding the classroom pet.

per your signature line ("Will this matter in ten years?"), are you concerned about 10 years of drills combined with the fact that a 13 year old will damn well know what a lockdown drill is really about and will have developed anxiety resulting from it?

To a degree? I have more stuff taking up room in my brain on a day to day basis, but I'm going to try to answer his questions as best I can in an age-appropriate way. If he wants to join whatever the March For Our Lives movement looks like at that point, I will whole heartedly support him. I suspect he's more likely to have anxiety from standardized testing or body issues, though.

From what I've heard, kids that have survives past school shootings are forming networks and reaching out to kids from whatever the latest school shooting is. I think that's incredibly bittersweet. I'm curious to see what these kids end up doing over the next ten, twenty years to change the world, although they have their work cut out for them with the current political environment and entrenched older generation who didn't grow up post-Columbine. (Columbine happened when I was in my early teens, for what it's worth, so I'm sort of on the edge of that group I suppose but didn't have it starting in kindergarten.) I don't expect the world to look dramatically different in this respect within ten years, though.

xposting cause I'm slow. I was thinking car accidents are more of a concern for me, but yeah climate change is scarier, and the attempts at getting rid of reproductive rights and birth control access.

Aelias

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But at the end of the day I try to keep that all to myself and not put my adult baggage onto my three year old when he mentions doing a knock knock drill at school along with reading books and feeding the classroom pet.

per your signature line ("Will this matter in ten years?"), are you concerned about 10 years of drills combined with the fact that a 13 year old will damn well know what a lockdown drill is really about and will have developed anxiety resulting from it?

I think the key is teaching them how to manage the anxiety they feel.  Lockdown drills can be scary for kids.  So can thunderstorms, big dogs, and about a million other things.  Fear is a very normal emotion we all feel sometimes.  So, if your kid comes home from school scared about the lockdown drill, talk to them about it.  Explain that this is just a precaution, similar to a fire drill.  And the better prepared we are for dangerous things, the more likely we are to get through them safely.

It seems like you're at least as concerned about the anxiety caused by the drills as you are about an actual shooting.  Which, on some level, makes sense because most kids will have to go through the drills while very, very few will ever experience an active shooter.  But, consider how you expose your kids to other potential dangers in their environment.  My kids are small and we live in an urban area.  We spend A LOT of time talking about how to be mindful of cars, how to look both ways when crossing the street, how to listen for car noises, how to stop smaller kids who might not know about cars etc.   All of this is premised on the fact that cars can be dangerous.  And I have told my kids repeatedly that the reason we watch for cars is "if you get hit by a car you could get hurt badly and have to go to the hospital."  I avoid telling them they could die (although at least with the older one, we talked about death and his eventual death when he brought it up), but I feel like "hospital" communicates the seriousness of the issue.   And, of course, if your kid's anxiety is so severe that you as a parent don't know how to deal with it, seek out a child psychologist.

All of this is to say, yes, the world is scary and the drills can be scary. But coping with scary things is a life skill. And neither the dangers of a shooting nor the anxiety that may arise as a result of acknowledging the fact of these shootings and preparing for them with drills will prevent me from sending my kids to their perfectly fine neighborhood public school.  It will, however, motivate me to vote for candidates who support gun control.

Aelias

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Honestly, though, climate change is scarier.  No drills against that.

Yup.  Explaining that one is a way harder than explaining "knock knock" drills.

Another Reader

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My guess is none of you is old enough to remember "duck and cover."  Or the earthquake drills here in California and the fire drills everywhere.  Danger is all around us.

Want to fix the school shooting problems?  Reopen the mental institutions and allow people to be committed against their will when they are a danger to themselves and others.  That poor lady in Connecticut whose sun murdered all those kids tried for years to get him help.  Nothing was available.  The families of the victims live with the consequences of the inability to get him off the street and out of society.

seattlecyclone

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I worry about the shootings, but I worry about the lockdown drills more. I've read accounts of teens who have been through these drills over and over again, and it wears on them. They're forced to spend time cowering behind their desks, looking around at their classmates and thinking about who would be willing to take a bullet for whom if this were the real thing. I don't want my kids' school to have time scheduled in the day to teach them to live in fear.

The thing that really gets me is that the "active shooter" situation is just so rare. Most of the many school shootings that occur tend to be your garden variety gun violence where someone comes in with a handgun, often with a particular target in mind. The drills aren't meant for these incidents, the ones that are basically over by the time anyone has a chance to react to them. Instead the drills are aimed at a very particular subset of this violence, where someone comes in with a semiautomatic rifle and roams around the school taking shots at anyone they see. This type of thing seems to happen 0-3 times in a given year at K-12 schools, out of over 100,000 schools in the country.

Among media reports implying that such incidents are on the rise, some academic researchers dispute that, and furthermore claim that the drills likely cause more harm than good.

Parizade

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My oldest kid started kindergarten this year, and in addition to a lockdown drill, they've had two lockdown events: the first one, someone called the school to say someone had a gun (turned out to be a kid playing a prank), the second was an armed bank robbery about a mile away, and the cops asked them to lockdown as a precaution.

I'm not going to lie -- my heart skips a beat when I get the "Lockdown in Progress" email.  That will never not be scary, because we all know how it can end.

But, you have to keep it in perspective.  The chances of your kid being injured or killed by an active shooter at school are vanishingly small.  In many ways, kids in the US are safer than ever. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0469882e2d46

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/4/8546497/crime-rate-america
https://www.parenting.com/news-break/its-all-about-numbers-us-kids-are-safer-now-years-past

On the other hand, the greatest dangers to kids (depending on their age) are things like suffocating, drowning, accidents, burns, poisoning, and -- far and away the big one -- vehicle accidents.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/genlsafe.htm

So, just do the things you know you're supposed to do -- Keep them in a carseat. Make them wear a helmet.  Don't leave them unsupervised, especially near water.  When they're little, look out for choking and suffocation hazards.  Take them to the doctor when they need it.  If you have guns in the house, make sure they're secure.

Life is scary, and there are no guarantees that any child will have the safe, loving childhood they deserve.  But there's a lot parents can and should do, and most of it is not rocket science.

^
Bravo

Having a fact-based worldview goes a long way toward relieving media-induced anxiety. Yet, notice how much longer the message has to be and how we expect more references. Notice our innate resistance to the bearer of statistics and evidence who tries to outweigh the panic of the herd. Yes, itís a big problem that our politics is failing to address, but it does not justify the ďmaybe Iím nextĒ anxiety parents are feeling, nor does it justify radical steps in oneís personal life.

To keep your kids safer, put your medications out of reach, leave your abusive SO, quit smoking, and refuse to use your cell phone while driving. Do all those things and you will have eliminated more overall risk than your kids are exposed to from school shootings.

This and this too! Plus feed them healthy food and encourage active play, especially outside. Childhood obesity and lack of exercise are much bigger problems for more kids that school shootings.

RFAAOATB

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Meh.  Iím not too concerned with school shooters.  Theyíre in the same rare fear category of airplane crashes, and I havenít stopped flying.

AdrianC

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Chance of school shooting is so low, way more likely to die in a car accident. Probably some psychological damage to the kids from all the fear mongering. Long term, the kids will grow and vote to get rid of the guns.
Agree.

My three donít seem upset by it all. Theyíve done Alice training. Most fun they had all year.

Obviously, our gun laws are insane.

MasterStache

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I don't believe my kids go through active shooter drills. The school itself has taken precautionary measures like having to be buzzed into the main office before entering the school, cameras, etc. They still do tornado and fire drills. Not sure a tornado has ever resulted in a child's death in this area, ever.

ChpBstrd

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I don't believe my kids go through active shooter drills. The school itself has taken precautionary measures like having to be buzzed into the main office before entering the school, cameras, etc. They still do tornado and fire drills. Not sure a tornado has ever resulted in a child's death in this area, ever.

Looked around my kidís school today. The only flammable materials were a table top and paper, and it would take a blow torch to ignite the table top. The building itself was all concrete and steel. Certainly a stack of papers or a rug could create a big cloud of smoke, but there would then be nowhere for the fire to expand to. The days are long gone when wooden school buildings would burn to the ground in a matter of minutes with all the kids inside. Yet we still have fire drills, although the time and effort could probably be applied to saving more lives if there was a school assembly where they talked about the dangers of tobacco. Safety habits are sticky, so if the era of school massacres turns out to be a historical oddity, we can expect active shooter drills to continue for generations.

Just Joe

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The magnetic locks on the exterior doors of a school are false insurance IMHO. The school that my youngest attends has a half dozen huge glass panes around the front door. This is not ballistic glass and the doors are glass too. Won't let in a shooter? A round or two and they are in. 

jinga nation

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I accept the reality of the situation. I also accept that we have a 2nd amendment that's constantly being debated. So for now, we're concerned, but we're also happy that schools do lockdown/active shooter drills, in addition to fire drills. I also appreciate that the schools are doing all they can to increase campus security.

My kids have been doing these since they were 3 months in a military base daycare/ development center. They know more about the drills than my wife. Heck, they even teach me new concepts, even though I work on said mil base.

ChpBstrd

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The magnetic locks on the exterior doors of a school are false insurance IMHO. The school that my youngest attends has a half dozen huge glass panes around the front door. This is not ballistic glass and the doors are glass too. Won't let in a shooter? A round or two and they are in.

This is similar to how the security lines at airports present an ideal target for a mass casualty attack. There are more people in line than on an airplane, and there is nothing to prevent weapons or explosives from reaching this reliably cornered crowd. The security system is arguably there to comfort people.

jinga nation

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The magnetic locks on the exterior doors of a school are false insurance IMHO. The school that my youngest attends has a half dozen huge glass panes around the front door. This is not ballistic glass and the doors are glass too. Won't let in a shooter? A round or two and they are in.

This is similar to how the security lines at airports present an ideal target for a mass casualty attack. There are more people in line than on an airplane, and there is nothing to prevent weapons or explosives from reaching this reliably cornered crowd. The security system theatre is arguably there to comfort people the security personnel.

FTFY.
I don't feel secure when the system is hurry up and line up and wait, repeat. It's all set up to funnel money to a vendor crony of some lawmaker.

Blueberries

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I just want to comment on the concerns that "my children will be scarred".  It's a valid concern and of course no one can say it won't happen.  But, I grew up in a high violent crime area where shootings were common, neighbors were stabbed or killed, robberies were plentiful, etc.  That was scary.  What my children are experiencing is not damaging or scary to them; they don't quite understand the severity of it as they understand what is appropriate for their ages, but to them, it's just another drill, like an earthquake, tornado, or fire drill. 

My oldest kid started kindergarten this year, and in addition to a lockdown drill, they've had two lockdown events: the first one, someone called the school to say someone had a gun (turned out to be a kid playing a prank), the second was an armed bank robbery about a mile away, and the cops asked them to lockdown as a precaution.

I'm not going to lie -- my heart skips a beat when I get the "Lockdown in Progress" email.  That will never not be scary, because we all know how it can end.

But, you have to keep it in perspective.  The chances of your kid being injured or killed by an active shooter at school are vanishingly small.  In many ways, kids in the US are safer than ever. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0469882e2d46

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/4/8546497/crime-rate-america
https://www.parenting.com/news-break/its-all-about-numbers-us-kids-are-safer-now-years-past

On the other hand, the greatest dangers to kids (depending on their age) are things like suffocating, drowning, accidents, burns, poisoning, and -- far and away the big one -- vehicle accidents.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/genlsafe.htm

So, just do the things you know you're supposed to do -- Keep them in a carseat. Make them wear a helmet.  Don't leave them unsupervised, especially near water.  When they're little, look out for choking and suffocation hazards.  Take them to the doctor when they need it.  If you have guns in the house, make sure they're secure.

Life is scary, and there are no guarantees that any child will have the safe, loving childhood they deserve.  But there's a lot parents can and should do, and most of it is not rocket science.

Perfectly written.

Rimu05

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My oldest kid started kindergarten this year, and in addition to a lockdown drill, they've had two lockdown events: the first one, someone called the school to say someone had a gun (turned out to be a kid playing a prank), the second was an armed bank robbery about a mile away, and the cops asked them to lockdown as a precaution.

I'm not going to lie -- my heart skips a beat when I get the "Lockdown in Progress" email.  That will never not be scary, because we all know how it can end.

But, you have to keep it in perspective.  The chances of your kid being injured or killed by an active shooter at school are vanishingly small.  In many ways, kids in the US are safer than ever. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0469882e2d46

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/4/8546497/crime-rate-america
https://www.parenting.com/news-break/its-all-about-numbers-us-kids-are-safer-now-years-past

On the other hand, the greatest dangers to kids (depending on their age) are things like suffocating, drowning, accidents, burns, poisoning, and -- far and away the big one -- vehicle accidents.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/genlsafe.htm

So, just do the things you know you're supposed to do -- Keep them in a carseat. Make them wear a helmet.  Don't leave them unsupervised, especially near water.  When they're little, look out for choking and suffocation hazards.  Take them to the doctor when they need it.  If you have guns in the house, make sure they're secure.

Life is scary, and there are no guarantees that any child will have the safe, loving childhood they deserve.  But there's a lot parents can and should do, and most of it is not rocket science.

I'm not a parent but I've got to admit that regardless of the facts, when Sandy Hook happened I was amazed that that did not incite a national move towards talking about shootings, better gun control or even just a conversation towards mental health. Instead both parties flung mud at each other.

On that note, the article made me wonder if part of the reason children are safer is parents are more paranoid. I find American kids are often huddled up in doors. My aunt's kids come home from school and stick indoors. Rarely is there the sound of children laughing and playing outside. In fact, going back to my home country this is one thing I noticed. The sound of children playing and laughing outside always floated through the neighborhood.

kenmoremmm

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i forget the source, but one opinion article basically said that once sandy hook happened, and no consequences occurred, that was the moment in time that gun violence no longer mattered to americans and that no change would ever take place. seems true.

Parizade

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On that note, the article made me wonder if part of the reason children are safer is parents are more paranoid. I find American kids are often huddled up in doors. My aunt's kids come home from school and stick indoors. Rarely is there the sound of children laughing and playing outside. In fact, going back to my home country this is one thing I noticed. The sound of children playing and laughing outside always floated through the neighborhood.

Good observation, and this fear is causing other problems. American children have begun to suffer from a condition that has been dubbed "Nature Deficit Disorder" because they don't spend enough time outside, and when they are allowed to be outside their activity is highly structured and supervised (as in organized sports). In order to develop critical skills children need to be outside and unsupervised so they can create their own entertainment. When I was growing up we built forts, went berry picking, played informal "sandlot" ball games. This just isn't happening in America anymore because of the fear. Fear of child abductions, fear of dirt/germs/disease, and fear of gun violence. It's crippling our children.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 04:27:02 PM by Parizade »

jojoguy

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It is not THE reason we homeschool our child, but it is one of the benefits. People are crazy in general, but it seems as though things are getting crazier with the kids with each generation. People don`t want to teach kids, but instead they want to indoctrinate them like they are robots instead of teaching them and to help them critically think with the motivation being the love for them. There are exceptions to the rule of course, but kids in school today are in an assembly line.

Michael in ABQ

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Not a concern. I remember being home sick in high school and watching Columbine unfold live on the news. I'm no more worried about a school shooting than I am about a terrorist attack or plane crash. Ultimately, there's little or nothing you can do so worrying about that remote possibility doesn't help.

I'm glad the mindset is shifting to include fighting back. Huddle in the corner and hide is not an effective tactic if confronted with any sort of active shooter, whether as a child or an adult.

Sugaree

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On that note, the article made me wonder if part of the reason children are safer is parents are more paranoid. I find American kids are often huddled up in doors. My aunt's kids come home from school and stick indoors. Rarely is there the sound of children laughing and playing outside. In fact, going back to my home country this is one thing I noticed. The sound of children playing and laughing outside always floated through the neighborhood.

Good observation, and this fear is causing other problems. American children have begun to suffer from a condition that has been dubbed "Nature Deficit Disorder" because they don't spend enough time outside, and when they are allowed to be outside their activity is highly structured and supervised (as in organized sports). In order to develop critical skills children need to be outside and unsupervised so they can create their own entertainment. When I was growing up we built forts, went berry picking, played informal "sandlot" ball games. This just isn't happening in America anymore because of the fear. Fear of child abductions, fear of dirt/germs/disease, and fear of gun violence. It's crippling our children.


This has been slowly happening since Adam Walsh was killed, which seems to have coincided with the rise of the 24 hour news cycle.  We've got hundreds of hours of airtime to fill every week and there has to be fresh material.  The FBI says that kids are statistically safer from abduction now than they were 50 years ago, but it doesn't seem that way because we're hearing about cases from all over the country.  How many people would have heard about Casey Anthony if Nancy Grace hadn't screeched about her every single night.  In the 70s, that would have made the news in the county it happened in.  Maybe the surrounding counties.  No one outside the state of Florida would have bothered reporting it, at least not more than as just a passing mention. 

As a parent, it sucks because I want my kid to play outside, but I'm way more concerned about some busybody coming and reporting me to child services because a 6 year-old is unsupervised in the backyard than I am about someone actually taking him.

Sibley

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Chance of school shooting is so low, way more likely to die in a car accident. Probably some psychological damage to the kids from all the fear mongering. Long term, the kids will grow and vote to get rid of the guns.

I do think that the days of widespread gun ownership are numbered. Because from what I've seen, it's not just "some" psychological damage. These kids are seriously impacted, even if there hasn't been a real shooting at their school. And we, as adults, are going to have to answer the question one day: "Why didn't you do something?" - to guns, climate, finances, all of it.

Thus far, we won't have much of an answer.

Pigeon

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I'm very concerned about school shootings, both for the kids and for my partner who is a school teacher.  I am old enough to have done "duck and cover" drills, but we didn't see people being bombed by the Russians on a regular basis on TV in the 60s.

The whole gun "culture" thing bothers me more though.  The fact that so many people have guns is stupid crazy to me.  The shootings can and do occur everywhere.

driftwood

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Not sure what your point is. Life is and will forever be full of fatal threats. Look how much safer it is now though, compared to 100 years ago.

I have two young children. I am most scared for them when we're in a car on the highway. Such a high risk of an accident, even if I drive defensively and safely.

I am pretty happy that my children don't have to worry about starving, that they don't have to work at all, let alone in unsafe conditions, for the survival of the family. I'm glad that when I had two kids, I could generally expect that both will outlive me (as opposed to having 7 and hoping 3-4 live).

Also, having a healthy fear and respect for danger is good. So I'm not sure why these drills are a problem. It's even a good idea to do fire drills at home so your kids have some repetition and know where to go and how if the house is on fire.

I don't get why moving to another country would help this in any way.

six-car-habit

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  ***I do think that the days of widespread gun ownership are numbered. Because from what I've seen, it's not just "some" psychological damage. These kids are seriously impacted, even if there hasn't been a real shooting at their school. And we, as adults, are going to have to answer the question one day: "Why didn't you do something?" - to guns, climate, finances, all of it.

Thus far, we won't have much of an answer.***
[/quote]

 4 reasons i don't think those days are numbered [ days of widespread gun ownership ]

 -- The guy i saw riding a motorcycle yesterday with a jacket with a 1 1/2 foot diameter patch on the back stating. " 2nd amendment , 1788 , don't tread on me, anything else is un-american, support the troops" etc . This was an big expensive looking patch, sewed on a nice jacket , and a $$ motorcycle.

 --  The guys at work discussing that the proper # of concealed carry weapons to have on your person is 3 - "one on your hip, one in a shoulder holster under your arm, and another in an ankle holster "   This was a 60yr old and a 30 yr old.  I hope no-one accidenttally bumps into the older one at night in the grocery store parking lot.

 -- Another guy at work lamenting the fact that our attorney general wont let "carry insurance" be sold in the state anymore and so his policy was cancelled . he can barely afford his bills, but this is a big priority for him.

 -- The fellow selling ammo out of the back of a pickup truck in the vacant lot next to the elementary school i saw last year - with a big handwritten cardboard sign.

kenmoremmm

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I am pretty happy that my children don't have to worry about starving, that they don't have to work at all, let alone in unsafe conditions, for the survival of the family. I'm glad that when I had two kids, I could generally expect that both will outlive me (as opposed to having 7 and hoping 3-4 live).
because society, as a whole, worked to allow these things to be true today, so why should we just give the "eh, whatever" okay to gun violence and school shootings?

Quote
Also, having a healthy fear and respect for danger is good.
i hope you leave your doors unlocked and wide open at night to validate your belief system.

Quote
I don't get why moving to another country would help this in any way.
because, by and large, school shootings is only an american thing.

driftwood

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I am pretty happy that my children don't have to worry about starving, that they don't have to work at all, let alone in unsafe conditions, for the survival of the family. I'm glad that when I had two kids, I could generally expect that both will outlive me (as opposed to having 7 and hoping 3-4 live).
because society, as a whole, worked to allow these things to be true today, so why should we just give the "eh, whatever" okay to gun violence and school shootings?

Quote
Also, having a healthy fear and respect for danger is good.
i hope you leave your doors unlocked and wide open at night to validate your belief system.

Quote
I don't get why moving to another country would help this in any way.
because, by and large, school shootings is only an american thing.

Gun violence and school shootings aren't ok. But what is ok for Americans is ignoring the solvable problems that kill the majority of us and instead focusing on the scary ones. That is what I'm pointing out. I think it's totally ridiculous. I'm American too, so maybe I'm part of the same problem. I'll probably go gray and bald when my son starts driving... because I know it's more dangerous and more likely that he will be in an auto accident than involved in a school shooting.

I lock my doors at night, because I have a healthy amount of fear and respect of danger. Not sure what your point was there. If we don't have a healthy amount of fear and respect for danger, it distorts our ability to evaluate risk. Look at the amount of people dying from trying to take a good selfie by a cliff, on a tower, etc. Their ability to evaluate and mitigate risk is totally whack. Active shooter drills are GOOD. Fire drills are GOOD. Talking about how to react to an attempted kidnapper or stranger danger is GOOD. It sounded like OP wanted to change countries because they don't want their kids exposed to the idea of danger, or the mental 'trauma' that they'd get from learning how to deal with danger and risk.

School shootings may be 'only' an American thing. But EVERY country has it's dangers and threats, and your children may be exposed to those dangers if you move there.

GuitarStv

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Active shooter drills are GOOD.

Can you show me the data you're using that backs up this claim?

driftwood

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Active shooter drills are GOOD.

Can you show me the data you're using that backs up this claim?

Oh none, that's my opinion. I think bringing up a credible threat and then practicing for it is a good thing. We do this at work all the time. I don't think we'll have any good data until we get a few thousand more active shooter events in areas where people have gone through drills. The drills are imperfect but at the very least it gets us all thinking about what we could/would/should do.

RetiredAt63

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--  The guys at work discussing that the proper # of concealed carry weapons to have on your person is 3 - "one on your hip, one in a shoulder holster under your arm, and another in an ankle holster "   This was a 60yr old and a 30 yr old.  I hope no-one accidentally bumps into the older one at night in the grocery store parking lot.

Can you please let me know what state this is, so I know where not to vacation?  I am not used to a concealed carry culture and would hate to unwittingly give offense to these people.  Easiest if I am just elsewhere.

ncornilsen

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--  The guys at work discussing that the proper # of concealed carry weapons to have on your person is 3 - "one on your hip, one in a shoulder holster under your arm, and another in an ankle holster "   This was a 60yr old and a 30 yr old.  I hope no-one accidentally bumps into the older one at night in the grocery store parking lot.

Can you please let me know what state this is, so I know where not to vacation?  I am not used to a concealed carry culture and would hate to unwittingly give offense to these people.  Easiest if I am just elsewhere.

Please.   concealed carry license holders are statistically more law abiding that police officers.  You also aren't likely to even know they're carrying unless you threaten them in a way that they fear for their lives.

Also, all 50 states offer concealed carry licenses. Some make it harder than others.

Dabnasty

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--  The guys at work discussing that the proper # of concealed carry weapons to have on your person is 3 - "one on your hip, one in a shoulder holster under your arm, and another in an ankle holster "   This was a 60yr old and a 30 yr old.  I hope no-one accidentally bumps into the older one at night in the grocery store parking lot.

Can you please let me know what state this is, so I know where not to vacation?  I am not used to a concealed carry culture and would hate to unwittingly give offense to these people.  Easiest if I am just elsewhere.

Please.   concealed carry license holders are statistically more law abiding that police officers.  You also aren't likely to even know they're carrying unless you threaten them in a way that they fear for their lives.

Also, all 50 states offer concealed carry licenses. Some make it harder than others.

Citation please. This is a common claim but I've never seen legitimate numbers to back it up. By legitimate I mean not like this:

https://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2018/feb/23/matt-caldwell/florida-lawmaker-repeats-dodgy-claim-about-crimes-/

I'm not suggesting that I'm particularly worried about individuals with a concealed carry license, just questioning this claim.

RetiredAt63

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--  The guys at work discussing that the proper # of concealed carry weapons to have on your person is 3 - "one on your hip, one in a shoulder holster under your arm, and another in an ankle holster "   This was a 60yr old and a 30 yr old.  I hope no-one accidentally bumps into the older one at night in the grocery store parking lot.

Can you please let me know what state this is, so I know where not to vacation?  I am not used to a concealed carry culture and would hate to unwittingly give offense to these people.  Easiest if I am just elsewhere.

Please.   concealed carry license holders are statistically more law abiding that police officers.  You also aren't likely to even know they're carrying unless you threaten them in a way that they fear for their lives.

Also, all 50 states offer concealed carry licenses. Some make it harder than others.

Oh, so " I hope no-one accidentally bumps into the older one at night in the grocery store parking lot." was just a joke?  Not a funny joke, seriously.

ncornilsen

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--  The guys at work discussing that the proper # of concealed carry weapons to have on your person is 3 - "one on your hip, one in a shoulder holster under your arm, and another in an ankle holster "   This was a 60yr old and a 30 yr old.  I hope no-one accidentally bumps into the older one at night in the grocery store parking lot.

Can you please let me know what state this is, so I know where not to vacation?  I am not used to a concealed carry culture and would hate to unwittingly give offense to these people.  Easiest if I am just elsewhere.

Please.   concealed carry license holders are statistically more law abiding that police officers.  You also aren't likely to even know they're carrying unless you threaten them in a way that they fear for their lives.

Also, all 50 states offer concealed carry licenses. Some make it harder than others.

Citation please. This is a common claim but I've never seen legitimate numbers to back it up. By legitimate I mean not like this:

https://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2018/feb/23/matt-caldwell/florida-lawmaker-repeats-dodgy-claim-about-crimes-/

I'm not suggesting that I'm particularly worried about individuals with a concealed carry license, just questioning this claim.

My claim is based on Lott's work. Better data for comparison isn't available.  I think it was BS for politifact to call that "False" when the data that IS available shows a significant difference in the crime rate between police and CCW holders (shakey as it may be), and there's zero evidence to the contrary that hasn't been debunked. With perfect data we may find that the difference between police and CCW holders isn't 7-10x like the available data suggests, but even at 1.1x less likely to commit a crime, the point is still valid: CCW holders are not dangerous people that Canadian tourists should worry about offending.