Thursday, September 3, 2009

This is Only a Test

This is Only a Test
Emergency vehicles blocked the main street accessing Youngest's elementary school yesterday, beginning at about 20 minutes before school was dismissed for the day. As I always park my car on the street near the community park adjacent to the school, I didn't realize anything was up until I heard other parents talking about it as they walked behind me. Of course, when I arrived at the school itself, it was obvious: there were only two cars waiting to enter the circle.

Armageddon, surely. When mothers can't drive their SUVs directly up to the curb to get their children, you can bet it's the end of the world.

[As we know it.]

I could hear the voice over the loud speaker as I neared the school. Take the garbled voices (akin to the McDonald's drive-thru speakers) and the non-computerized tweetering of a bunch of women, mix in an interim co-principal who is covering for a class (coincidentally, my own second grader's), and add breathless rumors being played telephone-like. What do you get? Chaos.

I helped (minimally at best) until school was to be dismissed. Then, having overheard or been misinformed that the kids were in lockdown but hearing that the on-site afterschool care provider would be getting those kids out, I marched up to my kids' class, walked through the door, hustled him up, and out the back door we went.

Excuse me? You're going to keep the kids in lockdown except those going to the YMCA? Think again, pal. That's my prone-to-panic little guy you're talking about. A kid whose mother is here and isn't stupid enough to let you let any kids out unless mine is coming with me.

We were the first ones off campus, keeping in touch with the nearby middle school to let them know the situation. 'Cause I'm caring like that. Or is it 'cause I've got Daughter and Eldest there? Does it matter, in the end?

What will happen in a real emergency? Let's say there were a big ole earthquake -- it is earthquake weather, dontchaknow* -- and I got to the school very quickly because I could walk to it in less time than 95% of the other kids' parents could? Does anyone really think I give a crap what paperwork I signed at the beginning of the year promising to abide by emergency procedures? Does anyone really think I trust an interim co-principal to be the go-to s/he in this situation?

That boy? He's with me. You'll have to shoot me to keep me away.

[Photo courtesy]

*There is no such thing as "earthquake weather." Earthquakes aren't weather-related, dig? [Hey, was that a geological pun?]


Gerald (SK14) said...

I don't think I understood a word of that. What's a "lockdown"? I'm sure it all makes sense to your local readers but this side of the pond our shared world and language is so different.

Never mind the world would be boring otherwise.

Patois42 said...

The "lockdown" means the kids stay in the classroom and are not permitted to leave. In a true lockdown, no one is allowed to enter the campus either and all of the classrooms are locked, the blinds closed and the kids huddled in a corner with the teacher. And, yes, that is a rehearsed scenario.

Jocelyn said...

Oh, I do love a fierce mother with no tolerance for b.s. procedures.

Good job confusing the Brits, btw.

D... said...

Wait. The kids OTHER THAN the YMCA kids had to remain in lockdown? Um, say what? I would have gotten my child, too. Obviously, it was just drill because they sure weren't using safe practices.

We've been in several lockdowns. Not fun. I always had peace of mind because my child was in the building with me. Now, neither one of the them are. They aren't even in the same school. I hate that. But, you know what? They both have cell phones and permission from me to use them in that situation. I might not be able to leave my school, but I can offer them comfort. They better not be taken away from them.


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