When you work in education, you know they’re coming — the fire drill, the tornado drill, the lock out, the lock down. Because I work in an autism center, I get warning about the noisy fire drill. (It’s coming at 9:15. Make sure your kids have noise canceling headphones on.) Everything else is a gamble.
When we had a lock down drill last week, I was not at all prepared. It was snack time for the kids. Not all adults needed to be on deck. I went to the bathroom, the cushy one, private, with a hand rail, the one we take our boys to when they need something changed. Mid-stream there was a knock at the door.
“There’s someone in here,” I said, mildly peeved.
“We’re in a lock down,” the voice on the other side of the door said. Then the voice disappeared. Nothing to add. Talk about Doppler effect. Maybe it was there in the distance. The word “drill” would have eased some of my anxieties. I just didn’t hear it.
I wiped, pulled up my pants, and considered. It probably wasn’t the real thing. True, we have angry parents. True, there is a high school nearby. True, our middle school kids are…well… middle school kids. True, our awful American society is prone to guns and divisiveness. True, if this were the real thing and I walked out of the bathroom, I’d be a sitting duck.
But who wants to die alone. More importantly, who wants to live alone?
I left the bathroom and fled to the home room.
Amen. The door was still open.