Does Your Child Feel Safe at School?

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Does Your Child Feel Safe at School?



I used to work the type of 9-5 that didn't allow me to pick my kids up from school.  Thankfully, my schedule has changed, and most days I can pick them up from school.  I must say that I do love when they hop in the car and begin to rattle off the real juicy information about their day!   In that moment, I get to hear all of the goodies firsthand.  Who said what about whom or what teacher told/showed them something cool (or not so cool) in class.  Sometimes questions come as rapidly as popcorn popping at its peak.
I love the easy questions.  Easy problems to solve, you know, like:
  •   Child:  What should I do if a boy tries to hold my hand?
          Mommy:  You can allow him to if you like the boy, if he’s nice, or if he asks first.
  •  Child:  When will a boy hold my hand?
         Mommy:  When the time is right.
  •  Child:  What do I do if no one wants to play with me at school?
          Mommy:  You may have to learn to play by yourself.
  •  Child:  What animal should I choose for my habitat project?
          Mommy:  How about cheetahs?  Or maybe snakes?
Without even hesitating or giving it much thought I can usually solve the problem.  You know… That maternal instinct!  What mom doesn't want to make it all better, find the answers, and in some way be able to come to the rescue to ‘fix it?”  Usually the answers do not require one to know rocket science.  I normally just pull from my experiences as a child, or what I remember my parents saying to me.  Twelve years ago I was officially inducted into “mommyhood.”  Over the years, I have gotten plenty of practice at multitasking.  Answers come without hesitation while I drive to and from music lessons, soccer, T-Ball and/or dance classes.  Most times I don’t skip a beat in my answers while I cook dinner, clean up, or even if I’m hard at work on my laptop.
But, when my oldest child asked her dad and me last week:
“What should I do if someone with a gun comes into my classroom?”
I opened my mouth to answer and quickly found it shut.  I was stunned.  Her dad had to take the lead on this one until I could recover.  He offered that she hide under her desk or maybe even run for a closet. Our youngest caught wind of the day’s horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday when we were in the barbershop.  On the way to music lessons, my oldest finally resigned to the fact that she didn't know what she would do.  My son suggested from the backseat, “You could play dead.”
My heart sank…some more.
I had no answer to give them.  In fact, I still do not.  There cannot be a worse feeling as a parent than knowing you may be helpless in protecting your children.  It’s a feeling that conjures up gigantic waves of reverberating panic attacks.  I can only hopefully reassure them that they will be safe and not to worry when they are at school or anywhere else for that matter.  Knowing really, that the answers this time may be more for me, than perhaps for them.


Does your child feel safe at school?

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