I Wish Children Didn’t Have to Do Shooter Drills

Teresa Roberts
4 min readMay 13, 2024

It’s My #1 Wish

Just anther violent day in America

If I was granted a wish for America, I’d wish that American children could go to school without a heavy cloud hanging over their heads.

I just got back from two months in Spain. I’ve kept an apartment there for almost twenty years. I tend to go toward the tail end of winter. It’s my second home.

There are a lot of things I like about Spain. After all, if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t keep returning. I like the food, the Mediterranean Sea, the old-world architecture, and the coffee. The weather is great in the spring and the people are friendly overall. All of this impresses me, but the single most important thing I love about Spain is the fact that Spanish children don’t have to do shooter drills.

Nope!

Moms and dads can send their little ones to school every day without worrying that an angry male with a gun might rampage the halls looking to kill anyone who crosses their path. Ain’t that something though? I mean can you even imagine such a colossal lack of worry?

Spanish children don’t have to do shooter drills.

You know what I mean. They don’t have to pretend that there’s a crazed person with a gun roaming the halls. They don’t have to regularly reenact this all too common-ghoulish American scenario. Oh, goody, let’s help our teacher move furniture against the door and then huddle in a closet while trying to control our breathing in hopes that no one will find us.

What an absurd activity.

We’re not Gaza. We’re America. Our children should feel safe at school. How damaging this must be to the young minds of our children. It must be a traumatizing, brain-altering practice that permanently scars young impressionable minds.

We’re so damn worried that students will be affected by the wrong book or the wrong words but something as ghastly as regularly playacting their possible grueling death is accepted as just the way things are in the supposed greatest country in the world.

Sick!

Adults notoriously expect more of children and young people than they expect of themselves. Our hypocritical role modeling often if not always involves the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do message. When it comes to the supposed well-being of children, well, let’s just admit it, we fail miserably in this country.

Unfortunately, they have no voice and thus no power.

So children must endure — us. They are stuck in whatever situations we put them in and must wait until they are old enough to leave home to change things in their lives that are unbearable.

I enjoyed a career as an elementary teacher and principal for several decades. I know how hard it is for children to flourish. They deal with divorce and living between two homes, parents who fight all the time, poverty, sexual abuse, physical abuse, a string of part-time dads and moms, and neglect. But now they also have to deal with the constant threat that tomorrow could be the day that the shooter drills they diligently practice become a reality.

That’s just not fair.

Trust me, I don’t think everything in Spain is perfect. Not by a long shot. However, if Spain’s little ones can go to school without this macabre threat hanging over their heads, then why can’t American children do the same? When it comes to greatness as a country, the safety of our children should be at the top of the list of guaranteed promises. At the very least! Before anything else.

Why aren’t we making that promise to our children?

Could it be because we don’t truly value children? Or maybe it’s because we’ve become immune to this evil threat. If something is done over and over again, it can become normalized. Do we just think that life with mandatory shooter drills is normal?

What ARE we thinking?

Well, if you ask me, we’re not thinking about what’s important at all. Every time I see a small child being pushed around in a shopping cart at the grocery store, I can’t help but think — you poor little thing. My heart aches for our children and all that we put them through. American children grow up with the same fears that children in war-torn countries worry about. They must worry if they will be shot and killed at school. That’s unacceptable.

Shame on us.

Teresa is an author and professional myth-buster. You can find her books on Amazon.

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Teresa Roberts

Teresa is an author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. She’s also a top writer on climate change and the future.