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Trust and Safety: My Barely Metaphorical Desk



Joined: 9/25/2011
Posts: 4
me-o-maya
Pre-K
I don’t remember but mom said I used to have fire drills.

Kindergarten
I remember lining up outside my school with my friends, giggling because we got to stand next to each other. The ultimate reward.

1st Grade
Fire drills meant very loud bells at my new school. They hurt my ears and so I would plug them and look around wide eyed as we were herded outside.
Our teacher taught us a new drill for Ter-o-rists.
We have to turn off the lights and sit under our desks.
We have to stay away from the windows.
When I asked my teacher if we can go outside for recces she shook her head sadly.

2nd Grade
More fire drills but I’m a big girl now and I don’t have to plug my ears, only little kids do that!
Our first tornado drill! We evacuate to the basement and our teacher reads us Junie B Jones to keep us quite.
We don’t have so many ter-o-rist drills now.

3rd Grade
More alarms and drills.

Fast forward a few years and here I am:
Evacuating to our school field for fire alarms and ignoring terrorist alerts.
Why do I ignore them? After all the alerts are their to save the lives of Americans.
Except in the capital alerts are more common than wi-fi hot spots.

Alerts are meant to keep me safe just like the drills I did in first grade were meant to keep me safe from the 2002 sniper shootings

I wonder though. If the sniper had actually come to my school would hiding under my desk help? Somehow I‘m not convinced that hiding is the way. Hiding from the ghosts of whispered suspicions isn’t going to help me live my life.
I’ll walk to the field when my school alarms ring, and I’ll leave DC if it’s evacuated. I’m not going to be the grandmother sitting in her house scared to leave or not believing in bombs. But I don’t want to live under my desk either.

Yes I trust my school to tell me when to evacuate, and when to hide under my desk.

Yes I trust our government to evacuate DC if they foresee danger, and to stop terrorist attempts before they pose a danger.

However, there are some things that I can’t be protected from, that I have to protect myself from. How many times have I heard “the Internet is a big scary place”?
Many, many times. From teachers and counselors. From my parents and family. Even from bus stop adds that I stare at while waiting for my bus.

It’s the crouching under my desk issue all over again. Yes there are metaphorical, and non-metaphorical snipers out there, but living under a desk metaphorical or not, isn’t going to help me. My school can guide me to make the right decisions but, in the end it’s my job to choose.

So desk or no desk?
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