Heart Choices: Lockdown at our School Today -->

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Lockdown at our School Today

This morning I parked my car and began to walk to my classroom at school.  I noticed the kids who were playing on the basketball court suddenly begin scurrying inside.  This was unusual as the bell hadn't rung.  I quickened my pace to get to our classroom and was greeted by the sound of the bolt of the door being locked.  The windows were being covered with dark paper.  I yelled inside to Heidi to let her know it was me and she quickly opened the door but bolted it behind me.  I entered a very dark classroom and dropped my bags, unsure of what was happening.

I quickly found out.  We were in lockdown and ...it wasn't a drill.

We'd practiced for events like this, just in case.  The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has been heavy on our minds this week.  A chill went through my body as I discovered several children cowering closely together behind our cubbies in the corner.  I immediately grabbed the smallest child and held her close on my lap as we sat on the floor.

We didn't know anything except that this was not a drill.  The unknown can be very frightening.  But Heidi and I remained calm so the children would remain calm.

But I silently began to pray as I held little Natalie.

We played a game of 'telephone' in very low whispers to keep the children occupied and distracted.  Two of the children had been walking by our classroom when the lockdown was announced so they quickly came inside.  They were in first and second grade so were older than our kids.  They were aware of the events that occurred last week in Connecticut.  But they did very well by keeping calm for the younger ones.

Thoughts went through my mind.  What would I do if a gunman came barreling through that door?  I knew covering those kids would be my first concern.  I think my nurses' training came in handy.  I was always able to keep very calm in the midst of a critical situation. It was only afterwards ...

We were in lockdown for about 40 minutes although it seemed much longer.  We were finally told we could come out and return to our normal classroom activities. But that was easier said than done. Everyone was shaken.

These events happened during the time when parents normally dropped their children off at school.  They had been diverted away from the school by police due to the lockdown.  As they slowly returned to the school, everyone seemed shaken.  A few tears were shed and many hugs given to one another.    Our classrooms remained half empty as many didn't return for the day.  It was our last day before the two week break for the holidays.

Later we learned that a man in a long coat carrying a firearm had been spotted on the campus of a nearby school.  A worker had reported this to the police before the children arrived.  The school was locked down as they searched for the man but he wasn't found. Our school was locked down as a precaution, along with several other schools in the area.

It's sad when we have to be concerned about school shootings. Sending children to school shouldn't be scary.  But unfortunately our society has changed over the years.

How thankful I was to God that in this case, everyone was safe.  But I continue to pray for our country.  

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. So sorry, Deb. They have had a police cruiser outside my daughter's school as a precautionary measure. This was a decision of the town not the school. Thanking God for your safety. So hard to focus on a merry Christmas in light of all of it all. Love and hugs, Dawn

  2. I seem to be having problem with my newer posts not being updated in the dashboard. So I haven't noticed some friends commenting from 3 posts ago. Anyway, I can't imagine what you and the kids had to go through. As scary as it was I was glad you were there to keep the kids calm. And pray!!! The most important thing you did. So thankful for His protection. With all the uncertainties around us, I'm grateful we have Him as our Refuge. Praying for your protection daily. God bless you sister. Take care and be strong in the Lord's mighty power...

  3. There are always events like this after every shooting. So sad. It's a dangerous world we live in. I long for the "good old days".

  4. I'm so glad all is well, but scary I am sure. It's just terrible that our children's innocence concerning this type of terror has been taken away. There have been "false" alarms since Sandy Hook, as well as some other diverted tragedies this week all over the country. We are in the last days as His Word tells us. Love you and pray for you and your precious little ones....

  5. Oh how scary this must have been. I'm so thankful it all turned out okay my friend.

  6. Crying as I read your words here, Debbie. So sorry that you and your precious kids had to experience that! But also VERY thankful that your ending was good. Still. It's not how it's meant to be. Love you, friend.

  7. I can't imagine. How scary for all of you. I can picture you staying calm and comforting the little ones, and praying. Good for you Debbie. Isn't it sad to have to think of such things and know they are happening.

    I'm thankful all was okay.

  8. Oh, Debbie, I am sorry that you and the children had to go through this. My daughter and son-in-law teach here, and all of the schools were in lockdown part of today because a threat was phoned in. A man was caught, but I can't help but wonder how many schools are going through this. Yesterday, there were threats on facebook from local youths. Your prayers even as you were shaken gave peace to the children, I am sure, and I will be praying for our children's safety and for our country to turn towards God. I hope that this Christmas break will bring a sense of peace to you, Debbie, as I know you love our Savior and trust in Him. God bless you, dear friend.

  9. I'm glad for your nurse's training and your faith and prayer. So sorry you had to face this today, but you are a true professional and a beautiful child of God. You blessed those little ones.

  10. So glad you were safe - and, oh, how children need teachers with hearts like yours - hearts that pray and comfort! Wishing you peace this Christmas season - and security when class start in the new year!

  11. Oh how scary this must have been! I am soo glad this turned out well and that the kids had you there to pray. What a comfort you were to them I am sure!

  12. What a way to end the year, Debbie. To think that it was the last day, and I am sure special year end activities had been planned... the way we do over here. Even though I live far from your country, I have been reading up on the events in Sandy Hook. The funerals are heart wrenching, especially at this time of the year, supposedly a season of joy, not of grief.

    Thanking God that your school is safe.

  13. I'm so glad you're all okay. And I'm glad the kids had you there to comfort them. Blessings to you, my friend.

  14. Oh, Dear, that is so scary. I'm sorry you had to go through that! There are so many dangerous people out there. God help us. Love you

  15. How frightening for you all Debbie; I can't even imagine the thoughts that were going through the children's parents mind. These evil and sick people are hitting us where we are the most vulnerable; our sweet and innocent children. It is heartbreaking....what a blessing and praise that there were no attacks or injuries.

    I am sure you are ready for a Christmas break...blessings and love for a joyful holiday filled with peace and His loving grace!


  16. Debbie, I SO THANK GOD that all of you were alright. How scary that must have been I'm sure.

    We are in different times now. It causes me to PRAY all the more and to be watchful. My hope remains in the Lord.

    Love you friend and thanks for your visit to my blog as well.

  17. Hi dear Debbie
    I am so grateful that you and your precious students are all okay. I know this must have been a great shock and I am saddened that you and the children had to go through this! I can imagine the fear they must have experienced. I will keep you and the little ones in my prayers!
    Hugs and a God-filled Christmas to. you and your loved ones

  18. Wow, Debbie. How scary. Who knew that schools would be a dangerous place for our children? Joining you in praying for our nation.

  19. Oh my goodness, you must have been pretty freaked out. I know I would have been. I have had a really difficult time sending my daughter (2nd grade) off to school each morning this week. I just keep telling myself we can't live in fear. It's not how God created us. But it's hard...

  20. how frightening Debbie, thoughts and prayers are with you x.

  21. Oh Debbie I am so sorry that this happened. I am so glad that everyone was okay. A couple of times our school has gone on lock down. It was pretty scary. Once they made us leave the school.

  22. Wow Debbie, that is a scary thing--we had a guy run through our school once (the police were chasing him) and I remember the initial panic that tries to set in--and just the thoughts of trying to protect the children--so so glad that all of you are safe. Have a very very Merry Christmas. Much love!

  23. Oh, I can only imagine all the thoughts that had to be running through you and everyone else's mind during something like this. What a shame that it has come to this.

    Wishing you and wonderful Christmas! Blessings abundant!

  24. Oh Debbie... I can only imagine the things that were running through your head & the prayers lifted up! I'm so glad that your schools were ok today. It is sad...

    Thanking God for His protection of you all...

    Love you~

  25. Dear Debbie,
    What a heartbreaking story.
    I actually thought of you as we heard the horrible news from Connecticut.
    I prayed.
    I use to say, when I cannot do anything, I can at least pray.
    It's not like that. I must always pray, it's the first and last,- not the least thing I can do.
    We are lucky to have this Heavenly Father waiting for us to kneel and pray.
    Nearer my God to thee, we sing.
    A sacred place where we can come with all our needs and worries, but also
    a place to praise for his grace.
    No child was hurt on your school, but how the children must have been frightened. I think, this is not a way to raise children, but I also feel grateful that you were there to hold, to calm to pray.
    God's timing is perfect.
    You were soaringly needed at school that day.
    May God bless and rescue America.

  26. How scary! I am so glad it was not another horrible shooting. I imagine it did leave everyone shaken.

  27. Oh my ... these things are showing up way too close to home, Debbie. I do believe we're witnessing the "perilous" times spoken of in God's word.

    How grateful I am for those of you that protect, cover & pray for the little ones in your care.


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