Feeling Secure on the First Day of School

This blog post shares a Mom’s perspective about her son’s first day of school and school safety.

He got up an hour and a half early. Everything was new: clothes, sneakers, back pack, school supplies, school, teacher, students, and classroom.  He was ready, and I was terrified. 

Being a parent of a school aged child is a new experience for me, and one, that at times, I feel entirely incapable of navigating. We did back to school shopping a few nights ago after procrastinating until the last possible moment. It was insane. People were everywhere without an available shopping cart in sight.  After sending my husband to the parking lot to retrieve one, I waded into the chaos armed with our son’s school supply list and two tired children in tow.  It got harder from there.  The list that had seemed straight forward at home became an indecipherable jumble of esoteric scribblings.  Trying to find the right notebook almost broke me.  Who knew there were so many different types of wire bound notebooks?  Lines, no lines, big lines, little lines, small grids, big grids, blank pages left my head spinning. We squeezed through isle after isle of hurried, frazzled parents marking off the items on our list, waited in a checkout line that stretched half way around the store before finally making our purchases and fleeing to the car a shell of our former selves.  

My son has talked incessantly about starting school for the past five months.  Although he’s made great strides with his counting, he’s still shaky when it comes to ideas such as weeks, months, or calendars.  He reduces the passage of time down to, “is it a long time or a short time?”  Or he compares it to the longest trip he can think of.  “Is it as long as driving to the beach?”  Needless to say what was endearingly cute at first wasn’t after a week.  Months of having these discussions should have prepared me for the eventual morning when we loaded him into the car for his first day of school.  It didn’t.

I’m not a helicopter Mom. But I am a protective Mom.  As a mother my primary responsibility is keeping my son safe.  It was torture leaving him at a school I didn’t know, with a teacher I had never met, and with classmates I had never seen. It wasn’t difficult for him.  He joined his classmates seated in a circle like he’d done it every day of his life. I, on the other hand, froze in place.  From the teacher’s and students’ awkward stares, I knew I’d overstayed my welcome.  Finally I inched my way to the door and my husband dragged me the last few feet. We went to the principal’s office, we weren’t in trouble but it felt like we were. I wanted to know what their emergency plan was. It seemed over protective, but I didn’t care.  Fortunately, after a short wait, we met with the principle who, based on her professionalism, and thorough knowledge of the school’s preparedness plan, had dealt with more than few anxious parents like me.  She couldn’t have been more helpful.  Although I was still an emotional wreck leaving my child in a strange place, I was far less anxious after the meeting than I was before it. 

At Status Solutions, we don’t take safety and security lightly. 

We help our customers address these types of concerns every day. We know the importance of having an emergency plan, practicing it and continually improving it.  Situational awareness, knowing what is happening around you and how to respond, is critical during an emergency. It’s not a time to panic or become paralyzed with fear. It is time to act and follow established procedures.

According to the website Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been 191 school shootings in America since 2013.  This number is horrifying.  Although this is a topic we’d all prefer to avoid, unfortunately it’s our new reality. 

So where do we start?

  • Talk to your child’s teacher and principal to understand your school’s emergency plan. 
  • Discuss the school safety plan and why it is important with your child. 

All of us want our children to be safe at school, but this requires action.  If school safety is an integral part of your child’s school, great, join the conversation. If your school isn’t talking about it yet, start the conversation.  Time is of the essence and right now matters most.

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