By: Diane Mendoza-Balatbat
What has the world come to nowadays when kids need to do drills in school in case of a shooting? Earthquake and fire drill? Yes. Active shooter drill? Ridiculous! Schools are considered to be your kid’s second home. Like a home, it is considered to be a child’s safe place. A refuge.
There have been 18 incidents at school involving firearms in the USA in just under 3 months. It makes me wonder how easy it is for kids to access such deadly weapons. Apparently, it is that easy. I am not opposed to possession of firearms and I do believe we need to arm ourselves for protection. But I also believe that to own a gun, the government should make very strict legislation to ensure gun safety and control.
Just this week we were visited by a lady who was running for board member in our district. One of the things she mentioned was gun control and the safety in schools. She did not mention what she intends to do about it though except that teachers should not have to bring guns with them to school. There is a video circulating on Facebook about arming teachers not with guns but with time and resources to address the needs of the students emotionally and socially using #ArmmedWith. Many would say that if the teachers are armed then people would think twice before going on a rampage on innocent kids. I am on the fence about this. Teachers need to educate the children. But it is also them who will protect the children in times of danger when in school.
I asked my children what do they do if ever they hear gunfire in school. All they could tell me was that they have to go to the closet or stay behind school cabinets and be quiet. It is very unsettling for a parent to know that the only protection your child has is a piece of furniture and their ability to be inconspicuous. Surely there must be something more to ensure their protection right?
I am tempted to homeschool the children again to ensure their safety. When we homeschooled the kids a few years ago, they did very well in academics but were somehow lacking social skills. I realized I couldn’t properly equip my children for their future by keeping them at home. We went back to regular school despite the dangers of bullying and shooting. Every day, I send my children to school telling them to watch out for each other, be good, be safe, and that I love them. Recently I’ve had to add “hide when your teacher tells you to hide” to my daily reminders for them.
As of now, there are no concrete solutions, only enhanced security in schools. I will start in my home by drilling into my children to be vigilant and careful. It sounds like I am sending them out on a mission. Maybe so but like I said, be safe.
Diane Mendoza Balatbat is a wife and stay-at-home mom of 3 kids and 2 dogs. She is originally from Cebu, Philippines but is currently living in Utah with her family. She competes with her kids on Just Dance and annoys her husband when she intentionally murders Adele’s Rolling in the Deep at the top of her lungs.