this is not a drill:

I don’t even know what to say about today.

It started off the same as any other Wednesday. Come in, eat a part of breakfast, go to Playworks… And then things got hairy.

Playworks is an AmeriCorps program (like City Year), but it has a different aim. Playworks aims to teach kids how to play and work together, while City Year corps members work on behavior, attendance, and grades in English and math. City Year attend classes with students, while Playworks is led by a corps coach.

Anyhow, we had Playworks this morning, so we showed up for our dedicated hour. I got a chance to work on my homework while the kids played with Sporty Spice (here come the fun name changes! 🙂 ). She’s all about furthering education and wants to run a school of her own one day, and while she can’t be left alone with the kids because of liability issues, she was excited to see I brought my homework. She told me with a lot of enthusiasm that I ought to sit and do it. It was a pretty nice feeling!

We came back and struggled with our math problems, took care of Pickle Me Wednesday, and sat through a surprise lecture by Hawk about how to eat healthily. After she left, I sent Slytherin table to the bathroom… and that’s when things went south.

The Queen came on the loudspeaker demanding a lockdown, high-pitched and anxious. Panic on the loudspeaker is never good. I sent another student to get the Slytherins and all four tables sat down on the floor with books. Door locked, lights off and shades down, we waited silently for adults to “test” our preparations by jerking on the door handle, banging on the door, and begging to come in.

When that didn’t happen, I started to panic.

When my students started asking if it was a drill, I asked them calmly if it mattered. “We treat drills like they’re real every time, don’t we? That’s what we have drills for. To practice.”

Luckily, that was enough to get them back on track to how to handle a “drill.”

We couldn’t have been sitting there for more than half an hour, but it was the longest half hour of my life.

The official story is that two men came to the school to pick up a child. While one came in, somewhere between nine and twelve cop cars, marked and unmarked, pulled up. The cops all piled out and drew their guns–apparently the man in the car was wanted for some kind of serious crime besides the theft of the car he was driving from my hometown (a good half-hour away). The best information that we have is that it was related to drugs and possibly included firearms as well.

Why did they come to school, you ask?

To pick up one of my students, who had called home and complained of sickness.


They would have come into my classroom.


Talk about nightmare-fodder.