School lock down yesterday

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by happymomof2, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    My easy child's school had a lock down yesterday after her lunch period, that would have been around 12:30. A parent heard (I assume from there kid) that a kid was going to bring a gun to school. All backpacks were searched and lots of police came. I found out when I was on my way to my sisters to pick her up (she rides the bus to her house). difficult child was in the car with me and he says "that's why all the cops were up there". He gets out of school at 1:10 and his bus goes by her school. I can't believe he didn't think to even mention that little fact to me!! :slap:

    You know it's sad when this happens in any school but especially an elementary school. The other sad thing is I talked to my daughter and she wasn't upset about it, didn't cry or freak out. It's like with all the shootings at colleges and such it's just part of life now. :rolleyes:She did say the scariest part was when they announced the lock down and they were outside at recess. She said they all started running back to there classrooms. I guess at that age once she got inside the classroom with her teach she felt safe?? Glad she wasn't traumatized by it all.

    Oh and they did not find a gun.
  2. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Wow.....what a scary world we live in huh? I'm glad to hear she didn't get scared or freak out. It's sad though to think these children are going to experience this as something that may happen frequently. Very sad.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Remember back in the day? When we had practice fire drills? (and depending on the geography, tornado, hurricane, and earthquake drills)

    Tink tells me they practice what to do if a gunman should come into the classroom. And she explains it very matter-of- factly.

    That's a shame.
  4. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    My kids did not tell me - I found out one day by accident, that they had the drills. I was shocked. They weren't. For them the drills and even the events were simply routine. My daughters told me, even in elem school they had several lockdowns, they said they would go into lockdown very often, for reasons of all different kinds. If a non custodial parent showed up at school unannounced, - if a child was not where (s)he was expected to be, - all kinds of reasons. Does not help, our elem school and middle school are across the street from county courthouses and county jail so anytime there was anything going on there, the kids go into lockdown. It is so common, it does not make the newspaper....and the kids just do not comment. It is simply "normal" to them.

    In the last 2 weeks, several of our high schools here in my area have been on lockdown etc for threats But- I think one of our county HS is on lockdown nearly every day.
    I know yesterday one DID make the news. My oldest has a friend at a HS south of here....and they got direct threats and went into an extreme lockdown and many kids did not go to class yesterday becuz of it.

    Our schools have kept all their doors locked since 9-11, the kids, not even girls have been allowed to wear caps or hats or anything on their heads in like 20 years....there have been lots of times backpacks were not allowed in the buildings, many clothes not allowed.....(the last year my son was in school, not this year, but last year) they were not allowed to wear black with red or with yellow, which meant even no black stripes on anything, the boys were mostly left with wearing just green or just blue for the most part. (and brown shoes)
    a couple years ago a rule was made, the HS kids can only go to locker once per day, - in the morning to put coat in locker....they have to take ALL their books to ALL their classes......and then can get their coats when school gets out.
    Middle school and HS the kids are not allowed out of the building at all thru the school day, and goofy me forgot and brought easy child a surprise lunch one day last week, cuz I was "in the neighborhood" and I had to simply drop it off at the office. ANd even getting in to do that was not easy or simple.

    It is SO different from when I went to school. SO sad. All of it.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we had earthquake drills regularly. Fire drills at the elementary schools I sub at are common, of course, but we had a "red alert" drill one day, where the classroom door is locked and no one goes in or out. Imagine if it was a real emergency. How frightening for the poor child who left the classroom to go to the bathroom. Do you leave the child outside to become a target? Do you open the door and possibly endanger the others? If the door has a window, then you can check, but so many of the doors are solid. Such a difference from my elementary days. So sad, this world our children are growing up in.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    From talking to other parents it isn't too unusual to have children not tell their parents about lock-downs. The school should send a note. We even send a note in advance of drills. So far I've never had any child bothered by the drill. Thankfully we have never had an actual lock-down
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Come to Australia, folks. Not only do we not have lock-downs, the kids MUST wear hats, caps etc to protect against the sunlight (and the hole in the ozone layer). All our schools have a "no hat, no play" rule, kids are not permitted outside without a hat or cap. Most schools actually have a school hat, usually a baseball cap, in school colours.

    Weapons are sometimes found in our schools but generally knives. Since carrying a weapon is an offence (unless you have a darn good reason AND it's not easily accessible) then police get involved fast and also have the powers to spot-search members of the public.
    Also, kids under 16 are not even permitted to buy a knife, it is illegal for shops to sell knives to anyone under 16. This also includes cutlery - picnic sets, a set of cutlery - the shop is not permitted to hand it over to anyone under 16. Not even a pocket knife.

    In woodwork classes (or similar classes) all blades are under lock and key and not used without scrupulous supervision. Scissors - they are generally safety ones, with plastic blades.

    As a result of this legislation of the population in general, the biggest weapon problem we have with criminals, is knives. Our young kids learn to fight without weapons and to defend themselves against knives. Guns - they do get used, but only be serious criminals and generally against other criminals. Because we have such strict controls, gun crimes are much easier to track. If someone is shot with a particular gun, the police have a record of all legitimate gun owners. The number of non-legit guns is much smaller than you would think and ANY unregistered firearm found in an investigation, charges are laid anyway.
    So instead of having fifty guns to check out with ballistics, there's usually only one or two.

    When the gun laws came in there was a lot of talk about people refusing to hand over their guns but instead wrapping them in oilcloth and burying them. But a buried gun is hard to use on the spur of the moment.

    We've adapted. We learn different ways. Our farmers still own guns to shoot vermin (such as rabbits and foxes). Gun shops have since moved into the replica business, as well as the display weapons business. They're doing OK.

    An Aussie school in lock-down - I don't remember when that last happened. I do remember being told of police chasing a bank robber through the grounds of easy child & difficult child 1's elementary school one day, but the chase was over before the police and the school had time to issue a lock-down order.

    I cannot fathom how it must be, growing up having to take this sort of situation in your stride. I hate to think how difficult child 3 would ever cope with such a situation - his anxiety would go into meltdown!

  8. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Our school cafeteria only uses plastic "sporks"- no knives, no forks. If a child brings a plastic knife, it is treated as a regular metal knife...and is a violation, and the child can be arrested.
    In elem school in winter, our children are not allowed outside and CPS will be called if your child does not have snowpants, hooded coat, snowboots, gloves, and a scarf (muffler) It is difficult becuz the school has so little room to hold all these items, so the kids wind up haveing all their winter gear in a huge pile to one side of the room. Backpacks now get lined up on one side of the room, as well. There has been talk of eliminating backpacks, or requireing see thru backpacks, but for now they are still allowed. A couple years ago, we weighed my sons backpack, the things school required him to carry home each nite.....YIKES the blasted thing weighed more than he did! (85 pounds!) But shortly after that, our school began to not give kids textbooks, and instead the kids simply got photocopies of pages out of textbooks. Hmm, maybe they worried some kid might use his textbooks as a weapon? (the story told to us about the no moe textbooks was that they could not afford to issue textbooks to each child......)

    If word of a drill came home to parents, according to our school, not even teachers know when drills will be, becuz the drills are as much for the teachers and staff as they are for the kids.....and if anyone knew ahead of time that it was a drill, they might not give it the seriousness the administrators want? Seems to me my kids have told me there are as many as 1 lockdown per week.....altho usually they do not get told even afterward, if it was a drill or a real thing. And since they have been doing them since kgarten, the kids do not get very upset, not even my extremely anxious panic attack prone oldest difficult child.
    Our police dept also has special dogs that come do a sweep of EVERY locker and EVERY backpack unannounced 3-4 times per school year. Our kids are not allowed to have any medications on their person, not even non RX cough drops or chapstick.....NOTHING. What I do find a little bit strange, is they CAN buy coffee in school cafe, and also energy drinks.

    Many of our cafeterias (including my youngest childs- when he was last in school) also no longer permit TALKING in the caefteria, - reason given was "safety" and the cafeteria is done class by class, assigned seating, in shifts beginning around 10 am and ending around 2 pm. And in order to use bathroom even dureing lunch, they must raise a hand, and ask permission.....

    Sure seems to me some prisons have more leniency than some schools.

    Like I said, the doors o the schools are locked. Even our very large 1 square block HS bldg permits entry and exiting only thru ONE door, and there are persons stationed at all doors, who will point at you thru the glass to direct you to which is the open door to be used. Many schools (but not PCs) also have those xray machines at the entrances.

    I am pretty sure not a week goes by that some school or another in the greater chicago area (encomapssing MANY suburbs)
    has a report of a gun, found at school, or a threat, or some major violence. Mind you this is a VERY large area....
    Today some report came to my ears of a bomb threat at a school around here.....yesterday one school was on a very extreme lockdown around here, so often, it just really is not even "news".
    Seldom does it make the TV news, seldom does it make the newspapers.

    But, like I said- "lockdown" also occurs for other reasons, such as a non custodialparent showing up at school, or a child missing in the school bldg.....or in our case here, when there is a problem across the street at the courthouse/jail.

    So- firedrills, tornado drills, and lockdown drills occur with regularity.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I didn't even know our kids had these drills until this school year when easy child was telling me about one after the fact. He only told me then because apparently he could be seen through the window in the door and was told to move. easy child who is the class clown type (sometimes annoyingly so) seemed to find it amusing. Sigh.

    We had tornado and fire drills. But my mom had 'the bomb' drills where everyone got under their desk. Not sure what protection that desk was going to offer if a bomb had been dropped, but I guess it made everyone feel better.

    I'm not aware that an actual lock-down has occurred at our schools. I haven't seen any letters on that. Just letters informing of whooping cough and MSRA (or is it MRSA? - the drug resistant staph infection) in the school. Those are the things I worry about.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We get fire drills here. But no lockdown just for a non-custodial parent turning up.

    I remember the security they had at easy child's first elementary school - the only way in to classrooms (during class times) was through the school office, so nobody could arrive or try to remove a child without going through the official area. During recess and lunch, and after school, the gates were the route, but these were staffed by teachers supervising who arrived and left. This was necessary because the school was paranoid about pedophiles. It was an inner city school at a time when Sydney had a pedophile ring in the area, they knew about it but were still gathering evidence. Known pedophiles' photos were circulated to us and the kids were supposed to be given a course in how to be safe, how to know when someone touching you was doing the wrong thing. Inexplicably, a few parents were very vocal against this, said our kids were too young (the oldest was 8).
    And ironically it was at this school where easy child was molested - by a 7 year old boy, when she was 5. And when I finally found out and looked back - yes, it was that boy's father who was most vocal about blocking those protection classes.

    You can't prevent everything. That school was moved to a new address (where that police chase took place) and after that scare, they fenced off the grounds and would lock the gates OUTSIDE school hours. When there were security concerns they would lock the main gate, leaving the entrance through the school office open. They have high brick walls with large gates, like something from Lord of the Rings.

    What caused security concerns? The smell of a community riot (rough neighbourhood; ghetto); problem parents; concerned parents; a general community heightened alert. The big reason for the locked gates - to stop abuse of the school premises by local criminals, as somewhere to vandalise, or somewhere to push drugs.

    I remember difficult child 1 at this school having to leave at lunchtime to go see his father at work, to get his next dose of medications. He was 10 and having to walk through Sydney streets in a not-too-safe part of town. The principal sent her son with him - both boys were the same age. They never had any problems, but I wasn't happy about the need for this.

    Our local school here - no lockdown. Not even possible - the place is wide open. The fence is low and missing in places. Individual classrooms, free-standing, are dotted around the grounds. There is a fair bit of wildlife, especially at night, on school grounds. The community garden is also on school grounds but has had to be completely fenced off and roofed in to keep it safe from four-legged and winged vandals. Drug deals happen (mostly outside school hours) and I've been told that the local major drug dealer lives opposite the school. They have fire drills, but these mostly consist of, "go outside and stand in the playground." easy child was a student there when the school was evacuated due to the threat of fire - a lot of the kids ended up standing in the vacant allotment over the road from our house, watching the fire brigade at work putting out the fire.

    I remember reading about the "duck, and cover" drills. We didn't get any of those, but we do have a nuclear reactor in Sydney. It's tiny, a research reactor, but if anything goes wrong with it it won't blow up but it could release a cloud of gas. We will have no protection from this. We just have to take comfort in the knowledge that this is highly unlikely. The local school has been told that in the event of a nuclear accident, they are to take refuge in the school hall. The school hall is actually open to the elements - it gets darn cold in there over winter because the winds blow right through - no glass in the windows, just security mesh. Useful in summer, though.

    It's interesting how different we are, on opposite sides of the world.

  11. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I remember doing the bomb drills. I also remember our teachers discussing our proximity to Ohare airport, and "ground zero" etc. I remember saying well, if it is gonna be THAT bad, I prefer to be AT ground zero.

    Our elem and middle school, and the jail across the street, we are at the end of town, the edge, - also the edge of the county and not far from the edge of the state. My house is south of schools, and north and west there is nothing...wide open, fields,orchards.....(corn, apples, cows). A creek runs thru.....with a footbridge at the end of my block..with very high steep banks. It curves a lot and also has a road bridge over it a block down. I think our schools got nervous after ---ummmm.... Laurie Dann?
    about 15 years ago - just when they were building the new elem bldg, they found a newborn baby body on the grounds where the elem school is now. I remeber oldest difficult child telling me one day "mommy, they found a dead baby behind the school, in the field" I remember not believeing her. It was true, and they never did ID that baby. We get a lot of 18 wheeler truck traffic here.....going every which direction. You can make it to 3 diff states from here with ease.
    Bsides the courthouse and jail here, there is also the wastewater treatment plant on the back side of school grounds.

    Our HS is built in an eually strange place, in my opinion. We have an old fashioned town square...the HS is just off the square. Next door to the HS is our old hospital. It has been converted into a physical therapy rehab nurseing home AND the psychiatric unit for the county.
    Then those 2 buildings are surrounded by residential single family homes.
    A couple years ago, someone became disgruntled with the psychiatric unit, and walked in, and set the receptionist on fire, she died 3 weeks later. I do not know who decided to put the elem and middle school just across the 2 lane road from courthouse and jail, or why the HS is butting up against the psychiatric unit. Makes no sense to me.
    I am sure for my district, that might explain why they stay locked, and why they practice lockdowns often. BUT I know other schools in the county are also pretty frequent in being in true lockdowns and doing drills.
    We get no notice. We DO get notices for TB, chicken pox, measles, MRSA, strep....menigitis.....Curently we have 4 students with MRSA.....(on wrestling team) and there are 2 cases of meningitis nearby.
    Hmmm, ya know? Our special education district for the county is here next door to the National Guard Amory.

    No, our kids cannot walk to anywhere, for one thing, lunch is 12 minutes long, and for another noone can come of go from the building. Docs MUST write a note, and then you MUST get a seperate labeled bottle to give to the school. With a letter from doctor. ANd it cannot be a faxed letter. That is required for EVERY medication. does not matter if it is Rx or OTC. Then the child MUST remember to go to the school nurse at the doseing time..otherwise the child does not get dosed. The parent must bring the medication in and hand it to the nurse, and the parent must come to school and get it from the nurse. (if the medication is no longer needed)

    I know what else- sunglasses- NOT allowed. After my son had his surgery, he had dark glasses for awhile, and yeesh, he really got a lot of harrassment over wearing his dark sent to the office a LOT.
    Our school buildings have windows, with glass, but they do not open. They also do not have air conditioning and in end of school year and beginning of school year, the school can get dangerously hot...(the HS is 4 stories, all brick) and of course, tank tops are not allowed and dresses are not allowed for elem school girls. Go Figure. LOL- when I was in school, girls could not wear pants, now they cannot wear dresses. Yeesh.

    A few years ago our elem school had a gas pipe leak..they evacuated the kids to parking lot.....and kept them there all day. They did not close school, did not notify parents......
    The kids never even told me, I heard about it when the lady next door who runs day care out of her house was um, when a teacher was picking up her kids next door. The teacher was telling the neighbor, and becuz neighbors driveway butts to my house, I could hear them.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sunglasses not allowed?

    Like the hats, sunglasses are not only permitted, but again, some schools have them as part of school uniform. And parents must buy the school ones which are properly UV-protective, and not just buy cheap dark glasses which can actually be more dangerous.

    Hmmm... seems like more ozone hole stuff.

    Back when we travelled to Europe one June, we travelled from the Aussie winter to the middle of a European summer. We began with winter-white skin and hit midsummer with no chance to acclimatise.
    We did not burn. We were amazed. It was hot and sunny the whole time, we were on the Mediterranean, we swam a lot - no sunburn. If you did that the other way, you could end up in hospital.

    If the sun is not a safety issue for you (as it is here) I can understand why the restriction on anything possibly gang-related.