This morning we prepared our daughter for a school “lock-down” drill.
In generations past there were other types of drills that we, as children, didn’t have to participate in.
But other kids did.
It was interesting, I started writing this blog and an older gentleman approaches my Starbucks perch to tell me about how he’s concerned about the schools. He told me about his visit to his nieces school. As he walked toward her at a school in the northeast, her two teachers stepped in front of her…”who are you and what do you want?” When his niece said “Uncle David” they moved aside and let “the stranger to them” pass.
He went on to explain about the 1950’s nuclear bomb alerts, folded up underneath desks while an alarm would go off. He said, “We didn’t know what it was about, but we knew if it happened it was total destruction.” “It was intense”, he said. Kids know what intense feels like. They don’t know the details but they can understand urgency.
He went on to tell me about his tour in Vietnam and how every day he thinks about the kid in a distant place, scared to death, fighting for his or her country.
His empathy was strong. When he talked I could see him looking into their situation and seeing that person with his own eyes. I’m grateful for those heroes too.
But the reason I started this post in the first place was due to my daughter’s commentary on today’s drills.
Mrs. Groover told me if a bad person comes into our class that they would have to get by her first.
I hear the echo of Someone who did this for us. Jesus, a man who laid down his life and called us to do the same.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 (NLT)
My daughter continued…
“Mrs. Groover told me she would put all of us in the closet if she needed too. She said she might even stick some of us on the top shelf…isn’t that funny mama!”
I consider her heart, her innocence, her kindergarten teacher, their collective courage.
We have to thank our teachers for…
1) Educating our kids
2) Quieting fears
3) Guiding them away from danger
4) Being prepared for difficult situations
5) Being courageous to enact plans in the face of those situations (may you never have to do so!)
I’ve got to thank Mrs. Groover (and every teacher who finds themselves in similar places of guardianship). We want you to know that there really is no greater love—you look a lot like Jesus to our kids.
‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:40)
My daughter is aware that someone bad could come into her school.
Maybe not a tornado or a hurricane.
It could be a person.
But she’s not worried.
There’s a teacher who lovingly diffuses fear.
And our teachers are willing and ready to step in front of them en loco parentis, in our place as parents, to protect our children.
They are heroic.
And as I think about the sweet families who have lost precious angels and the families of teachers who had to live out the plan that they hoped would never be set into motion outside of a drill. I hope they know that we hurt with them and that we are doing what we can to prevent it from happening again. And we are praying for you.
Who is your hero?
Mrs. Groover, today, you are mine.