A couple years ago, the conversation in my household was about how to teach my little big boy to interact with the police. At the time, unarmed men and women of color were being shot and killed on a regular basis and I fought with what to say to my son, if anything.
This year, the conversation has circled back around to school shootings. In our country, there have been close to 300 school shootings or incidents where someone has brought a gun to school in the past few years. My son is in third grade and since he entered kindergarten, he has had regular lock down drills where he and his classmates have had to lock themselves in a classroom or a closet.
In my day, we had fire drills but never experienced a fire.
There are so many discussions floating around about school safety, gun control laws, and student protests. But as a parent my concern is always how to broach this subject with my son.
I try to shelter him from most things but this time I told him exactly what happened at a high school in Florida. I told him how important those school drills are and how he needs to follow directions. When he gets older, the conversation will turn to keeping his eyes open for suspicious behavior and not being afraid to report what he sees or hears to someone who can help.
I recently joined a panel of mothers on our local news to discuss our children’s safety in schools. Check out the clip here: