I remember a time before people would shoot up our schools, movie theaters, churches and other places where kids gathered. I remember going to school and only having to deal with a fire drill maybe once a year. There was no such thing as active shooter drills and campus’ were open campus’. Parents could go on campus and check on their kids. You could walk up to their locker and leave the homework they may have forgotten, or a piece of that very important project that you were working on but it somehow fell out in the car. This is not to say there wasn’t any violence on school grounds. Sure, we had our share of fist fights and you’d hear about that guy that decided to bring a knife to school to show off, but to bring a gun on campus with the intent of using it on someone? Never! Maybe I was naive and sheltered and I just didn’t hear about these things because there was no 24 hour news cycles or the internet, but it seemed like the community and the country I grew up in was a much safer place then it is now.

No Police presence at school

In elementary school, there was no police on campus. There was no need! There wasn’t this surge in school shootings and nobody would ever consider shooting up an elementary school and a classroom of kindergarteners. It takes a special kind of person to do that.

I go to drop off or pick up my son at school and there is always an officer parked right at the end of the drop off lane with lights on. This was unheard of when I was in school. It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I started to see school resource officers.


Security checkpoints to get on campus

There was no security checkpoints to get on to campus. I have to show my ID just to go to the office at my sons school. Mind you, the checkpoint and the office are right across from each other so it seems a bit redundant, but I guess if someone does something while in the office, they have your ID on file. At my sons school, if you needed to be on campus for any reason, you would sign in at the office, get a sticker and go on your way. When I was in school you wouldn’t even have to do all this, you would just go. Schools were a place for the community and the community would be involved in activities and all kinds of things at the school. Now, you still can, but you need to jump through a ton of hoops just to be able to read a story to your kids kindergarten class.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand all these precautions are needed in this day and age, but my point is it shouldn’t be needed. Schools should be a safe zone where you don’t have to worry about your kids getting shot and killed. They shouldn’t have to have talks about what to do in the event there is an active shooter situation on campus. Parents should be allowed to be involved in their kids class and be able to come on campus to help the teacher with anything he or she needs without having to get district approval first.

It breaks my heart a little every time my son comes home and tells me there was a drill at school, in case a bad guy came on campus. I try to talk him through it, but you can see the sadness on his face when he talks about the drills. A little bit of his innocence is taken away when he realizes what a horrible world this is.