Will active shooter drills be a part of a generation’s memories from school?


“It was very much like Norman Rockwell small town America. We walked to school or rode our bikes, stopped at the penny candy store on the way home from school, skated on the pond.”

— Dorothy Hamill

For the majority of people, the early life memories that remain strong and heartwarming often revolve around school days, classmates who became friends and the teachers who orchestrated so much.

“Teachers are the miracles who put life into the cold walls of school buildings,” an anonymous someone wrote.


Teachers do so much more than meets the eye, and I feel certain our gratitude as children was too rarely spoken. I look back with amazement and thankfulness for those teachers who welcomed us and nurtured even the most ornery and challenging, and every single day worked to bring us up with devotion to our education.

So many silly and sweet memories of school days walk with us through the rest of our lives. It bonds us to friends who have been there through it all, shared memories running deep and strong, and it builds us into who we become.

Remarkable teacher

I caught the tail end of a news story this past week, in which a young woman was being lauded as a remarkable teacher. I wanted to know more, so I stopped to listen.

This teacher was being credited for saving lives of students, hurt in a school shooting in Santa Clarita, California. She said the gunshot wound kits kept in each classroom helped her do what needed done, and she didn’t feel she deserved as much credit as what was given.

Drills and reality

I can’t stop thinking about this. Imagine being aware of a gunshot wound kit tucked somewhere in the classroom, and worse yet, the realization that one day there might be a dire need to put it to use.

I have read of young students being put through something similar to the fire drills of my youth, only these are active shooter drills. It defies the simple sanctity of school days recalled for the vast majority of us.

People older than me have recalled bomb shelter drills, and say it wasn’t nearly as scary to them as it likely should have been. I hope and pray today’s children can one day say the same.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.



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