Saturday, January 31, 2015

BANG! BANG! ... Then The Cops Showed Up.


What was that??!?!! 

I'm not sure ...


It was a fun filled day of presentations and meetings; the kind of day that makes teachers all over the country roll their eyes and moan and groan to each other about the lack of alone-time in their classrooms to catch up on "real" work. I have to admit that overall it was an interesting and inspiring day in spite of everyone's reluctance to participate.

But it was what happened during the "active shooter" portion of our day that took the most interesting turn. I was helping a colleague with an emergency and was not in the room where the presentation was taking place when we heard what sounded like a book hitting the floor. Very hard. Then another. And another and another. Then a few more at a distance. By the time the second shot was fired (right outside the door) we realized the sound was not dropping books, but bullets being fired from a pistol. We knew about the active shooter training, but didn't know what form it would take, and in that moment weren't sure what to do.

We (I) turned off the light like that wouldn't tip off a shooter and we stood against the smartboard and made ourselves "skinny" so that we couldn't be seen from the door (and if you knew the current size of my stomach you would definitely see the irony).

It turned out to be a local police officer shooting blanks in the corridors to demonstrate the actual sound of a live shooter In the building.

In the moments when I heard the gunshots a dichotomy of thoughts occurred within me. On one side was the set of protocols that I'm required to follow (lock the door, hide the students, etc.) while on the other side was the curious little boy who wanted to peek out the door to see what was happening in the corridor. Also circling in my mind were a few questions:

1. There are three doors in this room. Which one will we run for if this jerk comes in here?
2. How much stuff can I grab to hurl at the guy?
3. Where will I hide my students?

I did, in fact, peak out the door to get a look at the person outside the door, and in that split second I realized how easy and innocently a student could die at the hands of a shooter. I realized that in the event of an actual event, all bets are off.

It was a very interesting day. Indeed. 

I have a whole new perspective.

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