Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

We were supposed to be playing games and singing songs at the local parent resource center, where I have made friends with other moms and my daughter has benefited from socialization and education. Instead, we were huddled quietly in a dark room, barely hidden by filing cabinets. We were still visible to the windows, but it was either that or crowd everyone in the one-person bathroom.

This was a lock-down drill, held at the local elementary school where the center is tucked into an unsecured back entrance. Meaning, people in the community can access the center, but not the school. As I sat huddled with my child and others, I wondered what we would have done in a real active-shooter scenario. How would I have kept my child seated and quiet? Could I have honestly hid her well in this room with nowhere to hide?

The fact that any child even has to go through this is appalling. My toddler thought it was a new game, but in reality, we were prepping for a potential life-and-death situation.

This should not be normal.

Asking teachers to die for their students isn’t normal.

Children afraid to go to the bathroom during class (you’re an easy target when you’re alone in the hallway) isn’t normal.

Considering staplers as a good weapon rather than an instrument in learning isn’t normal.

If there is any way I can take my children and run from this first-world warfare, I’m going to make it happen. As dual citizens, they have rights to a life in the UK, and you bet your ass their father and I are doing everything possible to make the international jump.

I am incredibly lucky to have an out. Most people don’t have a choice between one country or another, or the finances and support to even go through an expensive immigration process. But let’s say I didn’t have the option. Would I really be able to send my children to school? I don’t know. I think I’d have a panic attack before placing my children in the battle ground we call the American education system.

I would seriously consider home-schooling. And I only say that as I see the influx of anxiety in American students, as they attend school in a world where guns are rampant and no amount of mass shootings makes a difference in laws. Children roam the hallways, not thinking about the next sporting event, but wondering which supply closet is unlocked.

We should be rioting in the streets. Where are we, as parents to our kids? We claim to value our freedom, but we’re prisoners to our own ignorance and fear. I won’t do that to my kids.