Perspective: Drills Aren't Enough

Apr 25, 2019

A school bus rumbled past the house. Then another, and another. It was mid-morning, long after school had started. By the time the caravan ended, there were about 12 buses parked, engines running, along two blocks. I asked one of the bus drivers what was happening. He said it was a drill.

  

It took me a moment to figure out that he meant it was an active shooter drill. The buses were waiting to evacuate the kids from nearby Littlejohn Elementary School. The children filed onto the buses. They were in high spirits at the unexpected break on this spring morning. The teachers looked more serious, well aware of the appalling statistics on school shootings.

It’s been 20 years since the shooting at Columbine High School. Twelve students and a teacher were killed that day; since then, more than 200,000 students have experienced a school shooting.

In the last 20 years, hundreds of schoolchildren have died, bringing unimaginable grief to families and communities. And countless kids and parents live in fear that their school will be next.

Active shooter drills are fine. We feel reassured that something is being done, and that’s important. But what would be truly reassuring would be sensible and comprehensive gun laws, such as those recommended by Everytown for Gun Safety. This generation of children and teachers should be free to live without fear that they will be shot at school.

I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective