The mass shooting that took place yesterday at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas made me deeply sick, and seeing the faces of the victims identified so far has completely broken my heart.
As a parent with children in elementary school, I am terrified as well.
Yes, I worry about my children’s future safety, but more importantly, I have absolutely no idea how to allay my daughters’ fears when they start asking all the hard questions about what happened and why. it happened.
Speaking about the tragedy with co-workers this morning, one said it best, “we here in Illinois are disconnected from what happened in Texas, but we’re not upset” . So, the question now is, how to deal with such a terrifying tragedy?
Are all schools in Illinois required by law to conduct active fire drills?
This is the first question that came to mind yesterday. My daughters are very good at telling me what happened during the day when they come home from school, and I can’t remember them ever telling me about doing an active fire drill before. I’d like to think that means they’ve already done the exercises but weren’t scared enough to tell me about it, but what if they have no idea what what is an active fire exercise?
I immediately hopped on Google to find out if schools in Illinois are required to hold active shooting drills, and found this answer from Illinois General Assembly;
During each school year, schools must hold a law enforcement lockdown exercise to deal with a school shooting incident. No later than 90 days after the first day of each school year, schools must hold at least one law enforcement lockdown exercise that addresses an active threat or active shooter in a school building.
Does knowing that schools in Illinois are required by law to hold active shooting drills with their students every year make me feel better? Not really. Mainly because it annoys me. I’m angry because it’s a scary reality in our children’s lives these days, and I’m really afraid that I can’t really stop them from going through a situation like this.
How to tell your kids about the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas
No matter how much I wish I could, I can’t avoid telling my daughters about the Texas shooting, but what’s too much information?
I came across one article where a licensed clinical psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Robin Gurtwitch, told ABC News that the best thing parents can do in situations like this is to “Let them know that their school has plans in place to do everything to the best of their ability to keep them safe.”
Now we parents need to find the best way to convey this message to our children and emphasize that we cannot live in fear. We’ll get through this… together.
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