so I ripped away her innocence even more

I consider myself to be a pretty involved parent in our school district.

Teachers know me. We attend football games, spaghetti dinners and the homecoming parade. Amara's coaches recognize me. And Amara and I know the student handbook so well, she cried.

But not until yesterday did I know Amara participated in practice lockdowns at school. In third grade. Third grade.

After the tragic events that unfolded just 60 miles east of our home, I knew I needed to talk to Amara about these lockdowns.

So I questioned what they did during these practice lockdowns. I pressed her to tell me why she thought they were important. Her response?
"In case a bad guy gets into our school."
And then I knew Amara was going to grow up just a little bit more today.

I mean, I've already stripped away her innocence by dragging her through a divorce. She's had to take care of me during the loss of my own Mom, her grandmother. Why not add to her angst.

So I began by asking if she remembered walking through Chardon Square with me. I reminded her who Sheriff Dan and his dog are.

Then I told her that sometimes the "bad guy" is a classmate. And I proceeded to tell her about yesterday's school shooting.

I instructed her to tell a teacher if she ever saw a student with a gun or other weapon at school. I pleaded with her to tell an adult if she ever saw on social media or received a text speaking of violence.

I told her sometimes other kids just suck.

She's eight. No eight year old should have to worry about this.

No Mom should have to worry about this.


  1. I had similar discussions with my kids yesterday. Not easy to discuss such intense "grown-up" issues that have made their way into our modern society.

  2. As a teacher, at least a couple times a month I fear violence happening in my school and these lockdowns are reminders that my fears could actually be a reality without any given warning. However, the lockdowns do provide a plan of action. A way to keep the majority of students and teachers safe. Several accolades were given to the students and teachers in Chardon for keeping the majority of students safe in an orderly fashion and I guess that is the best we can do in such a horrible situation. Stupid violence, stupid bullying, stupid "grown up" conversation had with your 3rd grader and my 5th graders.

  3. I'm still struggling with Amara's reaction to the school shootings and that a classmate could be the reason for a lockdown.

    And Megan, I don't know if I've said it enough. I'm so grateful for you and the other educators of the world. I have no idea how you do it.


Post a Comment