I am a teacher at a Catholic school in Severn. On the faculty’s second day of school, we had active-shooter training for the first half of the day.
I feel more prepared and ready to act if forced to face such a scenario. I no longer feel comforted or safely enveloped by the notion of “that would never happen at my school.” It feels as though we are closer to “when” than “if.” So while I am grateful for the training we received, I feel obliged to acknowledge that gratitude is driven by fear.
Second, as a society, are we willing to accept this as the new normal? I practiced barricading my classroom door from an active shooter before I reviewed my class syllabus. I reviewed strategies for disorienting an attacker before reviewing a single lesson plan. I tried fleeing my classroom from a threat before organizing my shelves. Are we prepared to tell our students, our children that to receive an education, we first must learn to prepare for active shooters?
I don’t pretend to be an expert on guns or gun-control policies, and I don’t pretend to fully grasp the difficulties involved with politics. However, there is one thing I know: If politicians and if we as a society continue to do nothing, then we are telling students that this is the new normal.
If we don’t act, then we will be complicit in ushering in a darker future not befitting future generations.
Robert Medoff, Baltimore