'Rehearsing for Death'

Launa Hall, in an op-ed for The Washington Post on doing lockdown drills with preschoolers:

When you’re guiding 4- and 5-year-olds through a drill, your choice of words can mean everything. “Activity,” not “game,” because we laugh during games, and I can’t risk introducing laughter. I don’t say “police,” because some little kids find police officers scary, and I can’t risk introducing tears. Instead, even though our principal isn’t there this day, I want them to picture his kind but purposeful face when they hear the police officers and administrators hustling down the hallway, testing the doorknob of each room. I don’t say “quiet,” because I can’t risk them shushing one another while they are crammed together, practically sitting in each other’s laps. And because it’s not quiet that’s required for this drill, but rather complete silence. As silent as children who aren’t there at all. Fire drills I get. Earthquake drills --- here in California, at least --- I get. Preparing for natural disasters make sense. "Lockdown" drills, on the other hand, are just ludicrous. This isn't to say they're unnecessary so much as they're sad. School shootings are on the rise, and it's a sad reality that preschools have to prepare for this shit too.