Kids' Questions on a Lockdown Planet


Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch. 


Schools around the country prepare students for vocabulary tests and mass shooting drills alike.

"What did you do at school today, Seamus?" It’s a question I ask him every day.

"Well," my proud preschooler begins, "we did not have a lockdown drill today." And that’s about as far as he gets in the art of storytelling. Sometimes I'll get something about "bim" (gym) or how "Bambi" (Jeremy) pinched him during free play. But the thing that preoccupies my precocious three year old every single day he goes to school is the lockdown drill he and his classmates had in their first month of school.

At a parent-teacher conference in November, my husband Patrick and I got a fuller picture of this episode from his teacher. When the lockdown began, she says, Seamus and his classmates were in the hall on their way to the library. Amid the clangs, they sought refuge in the gymnasium closet. Eighteen kids and two teachers sitting crisscross applesauce on its floor amid racks of balls and hula hoops. Seamus, she tells us, sat on her lap with his fingers in his mouth and cried the entire time.

1/12/2016 5:56:39 AM

I hate to break this to you, but activism didn't stop nuclear war. The single fact that prevented ICBMs flying between continents is mutually assured destruction. Those monuments of destruction standing silently sentinel continue to perform that duty against a number of evil regimes that would otherwise turn your back yard into a real war zone - with real threats and real things to fear. Americans have sat protected by a few, a few willing to do what culture and instinct says not to. Jealousy, envy, a slipping grasp on power, these force the hands of despots, dictators, and religious fanatics to point at western success as the source for others woes when in fact their lack of individual motivation is the cause. You should instead take a page from successful history. Teach your children to be strong, to win. That the evils of this world are caused by the lazy wanting a hand out - not a hand up. That the mentally unhinged who would do harm on the helpless and innocent are no better than roached to be crushed under foot. And empower them with the will to act. Maybe then our children, this next generation of Americans, will not be afraid of violence but understand it is a tool and when that tool needs to be used - and when it needs to remain on the shelf. Until we are willing to unleash violence on our enemies, evil will act without hesitation upon us. The innocent will suffer, and we will blame everyone but ourselves for allowing it to happen. As it has been said before, it only takes good people looking the other way for evil to succeed.

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