.

Lock down for parents

Parents were on lock down too.

 A lockdown for parents.

The phone call we never wanted to receive came last week. As we were calmly informed via automated calling from the Bethel School district that the schools were on lock down, I panicked.

As I was putting on my coat, the calm voice proceeded to tell me not to go the school campus.

I took off my coat. The schools were all locked anyway so what would I do? Sit in the parking lot? If the school campus had a threat that was external to the schools, would I be driving right into the center of the danger?

I did what a lot of other parents did then. I checked Face Book updates. Sure enough, friends from all over Bethel were posting updates that were immediately reassuring. Not because they had any news or confirmed information, but because I was instantly comforted by the fact that all my friends were feeling the same way that I was. We are all in the same boat together. Instead of feeling isolated at home in my kitchen, I was feeling hugged by friends. The parents were all on lock down at home but we weren’t alone. One friend was even posting updates from the police scanner. I was still wary of what I was reading though and decided the best thing to do was to stay calm and wait.

It was a long wait.

The children had come home a few weeks ago describing their lockdown practice and I was torn between feeling upset and feeling relieved. Upset -  that they had to be exposed to the knowledge that danger may strike anywhere, even Bethel.  Relieved - that they had rehearsed the actual lock down procedure.

As I waited for an updated phone call from Bethel public schools, I thought about the lock down practice. Somehow the teachers and administrators of the schools had managed to get through a practice lockdown with the children, without scaring the bejesus out of them but at the same time ensuring they had some experience.  

The second phone call came. The danger was over. The schools were safe. The situation resolved.

I felt slightly dizzy with relief and sat down for a while on the couch. I was trying to remember how the kids had left the house that morning. Was I shouting for them to remember their musical instruments? Did I pack that lunch box with love and attention or was I cramming the food into the tubberware grumbling that we should all be more organized the previous night. Was I arguing with the kids to wear their coats even if the sun was out?

How did I seem to them? Did I smile? Did I hug?

Well, lesson learned. I can’t promise to be the perfect parent in the morning every morning, but I am certainly taking this opportunity to remember not to take them for granted.  I didn’t enjoy my lock down at home. I hope it doesn’t happen again.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dawn Fawcett April 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Awesome article. Yes, I think all the mom's went into panic mode after that call. It was reassuring to get on facebook and talk with other mom's going through the same thing. However, I never felt for a second that I should go get the kids. I have complete trust in the schools and the awesome Bethel Police Department that they have their procedures in place to keep our kids safe. I think the lock down was good practice for all of us. Maybe the parents need to figure out lock down procedures as well. And yes, maybe we should remember to kiss them more instead of yelling - you're gonna miss the bus, get your shoes on.
Cheryl Baldwin April 21, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Just found this site and am so happy to realize that others felt the exact same way that I did. I was at work and seemed to be just like you, did not know what I should do. Was it bad to stay at work and follow their orders or should I be there to protect my children , if I even could get to them. I would like to learn more about what the lockdown procedures actually involve. I was surprised that they did not close off the entire campus to thru traffic. Cheryl

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