A scary thing happened to me and my co-worker last week.
I work in an after school care program. We have 21 kids in our care from dismissal (3:17) until their parents pick them up (we are usually there until 6:30).
Our school is in the middle of a not-so-nice part of town. We had issues with local youth coming into the school after dismissal to use the gym, smoke pot and who knows what else.
One day they were harassing the kids in our program, and as a result, the school doors are locked from dismissal until 6:00. We’d love for them to be locked at all times, but the basketball teams come in to practice at 6:00, as well as adult classes. At least we know from dismissal until 6:00 it’s just me, my co-workers, the kids in our program, the custodians and a handful of teachers and staff in the building.
Our playground is fenced off. Not that it stops neighborhood kids from jumping the fence to play basketball. In fact, I wish the fence was higher.
Last week we were on the playground. Two of my 4th graders ran over to me and told me that there is a guy on the street with a gun. I asked if they were sure it was really a gun, and they said “yes.”
I told the girls to stay where we were (close to the door back into the school), while I sent to investigate. Surely they were wrong. The guy and another person (hard to tell the sex at the time, but the build told me it was a woman) were by a car on the road. The guy was sitting on the sidewalk directly behind a parked car and the girl (?) was standing next to him. Maybe he was just doing some work on his car? Maybe it was a tool he had in his hand?
I made my way closer to them, all while giving hand gestures to the other kids not to come near me.
I looked at the guy and he did have something in his hands. It was black and surely did have the size and shape of a gun. I also heard a strange clicking sound.
While this is happening, some of other students heard that there was a guy with an alleged gun in his hand and a few of them started to scream “He has a gun!” Some kids stood there, not knowing what to do. Some actually ran TOWARDS me (I was about 20′ from the guy with the “gun”). I yelled at them to get back and stay away. My co-worker yelled for the kids to get inside. I stayed behind to make sure every child was off the playground.
While inside, my co-worker ran to tell the principal, who in turn called the Police. The Police spoke with us on the phone, and even stopped by the school in person to get our statements, the description of the people, and so forth.
My “work kids” were able to help give a very accurate description of the couple. I saw them, but in the “heat of the moment” some of the details were “foggy.” My “work kids” helped out A LOT.
The Police caught the couple. It was a fake gun, THANK GOD. They also arrested the guy because he had a warrant for his arrest.
The Idiot of the Year Award goes to that guy. If you have a warrant for your arrest, why would you sit outside a school where children are with a fake gun? Did they not think someone might see that and call the Police?
As a result of this, my co-worker and I are working on a plan for when we need to get the kids off the playground ASAP. We already practice fire drills and “shelter in place” drills. So we need to implement a special drill to get kids inside immediately.
It was a scary situation, to say the least. The kids pretty much stopped thinking about it the next day (kids are resilient that way), but me, my co-worker and the parents are fully aware of how serious the situation really was.
Sadly, school shootings are happening more and more. That is why schools have “shelter in place” (or it might go by another name) drills to teach students what to do in case of an emergency “IN” school, such as an active shooter.
A new short film by film maker and mom, Megan Jordan, is making it’s away around festival circuits. It’s called Just a Drill. The short film was also made with an all female crew.
Determined to follow the rules in an active shooter drill, an overworked teacher in an underfunded classroom battles the impossible choices a leader must make when the drill becomes a horrifying reality.
I had the opportunity to watch the short film. It was only 10 minutes. It will be available on VOD (Video on Demand) after the festival run, and a feature version is in the works. I can’t wait to see the feature film version of this. It looks like it would make a great feature length film.
Eva Walker is a teacher at an ordinary looking high school (location unknown). Her school is getting ready for an “Active Shooter Drill.” Students are asked to dismiss the school, except for the dozen or so students that were going to volunteer for the drill.
Ms. Walker receives two young ladies to act as students in her class during the drill.
Things go horribly wrong when it appears that there might be a REAL shooter in the school.
It’s hard to tell where the “mock” shooter is and the real shooter because teachers and staff are all talking on the walkie talkies at the same time and providing different information.
What is Ms. Walker to do? This is NOT a drill. This is the real deal.
I wish this short film was longer. I would love to see what happens and how she survives the situation. It’s an interesting film that really piqued my interest.
Sadly, I don’t have much more detail about the film. If/When I learn more about it available on VOD and if/when it’s made into a feature film, I will update this post.
I also do not have a website or social media sites for the film, but you can learn more about the director of the film is Julianne Donelle. The producer is Sabrina Stoll. Here is her IMDB link. You can also check out the trailer here – https://vimeo.com/329729865.
*I received a free screener to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.