I was student-teaching when the Columbine massacre occurred in April of 1999. I remember sitting with fourth graders on the morning after the shooting, listening to them talk about everything they had seen on television.
It was unimaginable.
Then, seemingly overnight, it became all too imaginable as school shootings, especially those involving mass casualties, became all too common in this country, and educators were forced to grapple with the notion that someday, we might be forced to make life-and-death decisions to protect our students.
I saw this photograph on the internet yesterday and wondered how many future educators are deciding on other professions because posters like this are now necessary in elementary school classrooms.
I wondered how safe our children really feel when they are forced to sing-song the steps to a lockdown drill.
I wondered when lawmakers will finally place the safety of students ahead of politics, elections, and campaign donations.
I wondered if there will ever be a day when a poster like this is no longer necessary in an American classroom.
I really hope so.