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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Rempel

Stop, Drop, and Hide

When I was a kid fire drills included learning how to Stop, Drop, and Roll. Its what we were told to do if we were ever on fire.

Its a skill I've practised many times and have never had to use. Like algebra.

I lived on a small island on top of a fault we had earthquake drills too. They drilled into our heads the protocols of hiding under a strong structure, like a doorway or a desk.

At the beginning of every year we packed bags with juice and snacks and pictures of our loved ones in them along with emergency blankets. The bags were kept at the school in a safe place in case of an earthquake that had us isolated from our families for an extended period of time.

The things that I was most afraid of as a grade 5 kid was catching on fire, or my island sinking because of an earthquake.

But at least I would finally be able to eat those Gushers.

School drills aren't new. My parents tell me about having to do nuclear bomb drills when they were in school when the threat of nuclear war was still fresh in everyone's minds. (The threat is actually much much worse now then it was then...we've just all become used to the feeling of having a nuclear gun to our heads everyday.)

My kids do different drills than I did in school.

I learned to stop, drop, and roll.

They learn to hide and be quiet.

Not from a natural disaster or a bomb...they are taught to fear a much closer threat than that...each other.

They practice hiding in their classrooms, the teacher locking the door and shutting the blinds. They are taught where to hide if they happen to be in the bathroom or halls when the lock-down starts. Every kid has imagined in their mind what they would do if they faced down one of their classmates with a gun in their hallways.

Fire was my biggest enemy.

Their peers are theirs.

My parents practiced nuclear bomb drills.

I practiced earth-quake drills.

My kids practice active-shooter drills.

How would it effect a generation if their biggest perceived threat wasn't another country across the world, and not a natural disaster, but each other?

What if they had been steeped in that fear since Kindergarten?

I bet they would all have anxiety.

And according to these 8 experts....I'm right.

Well that was a cheery post. I'm off to boil some frogs.

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