Fifth Grader Puts Life On The Line For Classmates During Active Shooter Drill

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Disclaimer: This story includes mentions of gun violence that may be triggering to some.

“My 5th grader and I were conversing on the way to work/school this morning. As an educator, I wanted to be sure he and his classmates were taking the school safety drills seriously and not using it as a time to socialize and goof off.

Me: Have you guys practiced a lockdown drill in class yet?

Dez: Are you talking about an active shooter drill?

Me: Yes.

Dez: Yes, we practiced it.

Me: So tell me what you are supposed to do.

Dez: The teacher is supposed to shut and lock the door, and put the black paper over the window on the door. Then and three other boys and I are supposed to push the table against the door. After that, the class is going to stand behind us on the back wall.

Me: The class is supposed to stand behind who?

Dez: Me and the other 3 boys. We stand at the front and they get behind us.

*I internally went from 0 to 100 real quick. My child is one of only 2 black children in a class of 23. Being transparent, I immediately went to the, ‘why is my black son being put on the front line?’ (Just being real) So I asked before I verbally stated my thoughts*

Me: Why did you get picked to stand in front of everyone else if a shooter came into your school?

Dez: I didn’t get picked. I volunteered to push the table and protect my friends.

Me: *immediate nausea* Dez why would you volunteer to do that?

Dez: If it came down to it I would rather be the one that died protecting my friends than have an entire class die and I be the only one that lived.

Father God, it took everything out of me not to break down. I still have a lump in my throat. 10 damn years old and this has to be our babies’ thought process in America.”

Young black boy wearing a black hoodie that reads "young black purposed"
Courtesy of Tanai Benard

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tanai Benard. You can follow her on Facebook. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Active Shooter Drills Are Now Just Part Of School Curriculum, And It’s Not Normal

5 Lessons Learned After Talking To My Son About School Shootings

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