When will enough be enough? As if losing our children to gun violence wasn’t enough, now our children are faced with a new horror… Active shooter drills.
Since the Sandy Hook shooting, kids across the nation now do these drills, and now there is one report after another that kids are becoming traumatized as a result.
The right seems very concerned with the mental health of our children; maybe they should start to examine the effects that their refusal to revise gun control is having on them.
The drills we did in elementary school for an atomic bomb gave me nightmares, and that was just a possibility, it never felt very real. Children today know for a fact that their peers are being gunned down in their classrooms, which makes those drills more real than any of us can imagine.
No one is suggesting that active shooter drills should come to an end. Sadly, because of the NRA’s deep pockets and politicians refusing to budge on gun laws, for the moment they are entirely necessary.
But, in some cases, they could be doing lasting and long-term damage to the kids who have to participate.
In Birmingham, Alabama, 6th grader Javon Davies wrote a will in the form of a letter to his best friend in case dies while at his school. See, that day his school received a threat, and he wrote the letter as a result. He told a local news station what he planned to give away.
Javon told CBS affiliate WIAT that:
“It was a PlayStation 4, plus controllers, plus the game that goes to it. My cat, my TV, my Xbox.”
Javon, like many kids, is faced with a reality that most of us simply can’t wrap our heads around. They know for a fact that mass shootings in school are happening with increased regularity in this country, and they are terrified.
TRAUMA ON THE MIND
The effects of childhood trauma are far-reaching and well-documented. When children are traumatized as they grow, it can affect not only their minds but their bodies as well. Children have difficulties communicating the fact that they are feeling trauma, they tend to internalize it, which in some cases results in anxiety, depression, and anger issues as adults.
“Children who have experienced complex trauma often have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing emotions, and may have limited language for feeling states.”
Many children that have experienced trauma have unpredictable emotional responses to ordinary stimulus.
DANA WILLIAMS SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASS
Dana Williams teaches at an elementary school in Pittsburgh. She is a special education teacher and therefore faces challenges that other teachers do not. The students knew that the drill was going to happen. They were ready when they heard the announcement, and they all jumped into action.
However, even though the students performed admirably, shortly into the drill, Williams could hear her students weeping. She held one first-grader throughout while he asked over and over when it would be over. When she turned the lights back on and started to get the students back to work was when she noticed that wouldn’t be a simple task. ” Williams wrote on Facebook:
“I was greeted with blank faces… petrified faces… tear-stained faces… confused faces… elated faes.. and one ‘b—- really?’ face.”
Williams did mindfulness exercises with the students to calm them down and get them back to work.
TRAUMA ON THE BODY
Childhood trauma can have detrimental effects on the body as well as the mind. From infancy through adolescence children’s biological bodies develop. Environmental factors unquestionably affect the child’s biological systems.
It is when those processes are interrupted that abnormal biology develops in a child, which can have lifelong detrimental effects on every system of their body.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information said:
“Normal biological function is partly determined by environment. When a child grows up afraid or under constant or extreme stress, the immune system and body’s stress response systems may not develop normally.”
STACY FEELEY AND HER 3-YEAR-OLD
A picture of an adorable 3-year-old girl standing on a toilet circulated on social media. It appeared at first to be a silly stunt by a toddler until you read the entire post, that is.
Stacy Feeley found out when asking her daughter that the little girl was practicing for the lockdown drill she learned at school.
The girl is three, and she was practicing what to do when a shooter enters her school.
Trauma is defined as a “A deeply distressing or disturbing experience,” acording to OxfordDictionaries.com.
There have been many studies that confirm that trauma an have effects on the mind and body throughout adulthood. Trauma experienced as a child is proven to have potentially adverse effects on their overall health for their entire lifetime. Avshalom Caspi, Edward M. Arnett Professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, said:
“What we’re learning is that poor adult health is, in part, manufactured in childhood. The human stress response is implicated not only in psychological conditions but in other health conditions as well.”
No one knows how much trauma is too much, or precisely what it takes to damage a child. Currently, every child in public school in Ameria is in the most horrific psychological study of all time, merely because the NRA has a chokehold on so many politicians and therefore the law.
Kids are frozen and acting out; they are sleeping with their parents again and refusing to go to school. Children across America are petrified.
For a party that blames mental health for every mass shooting, they sure aren’t trying very hard to help the rest of us raise functioning adults while they continue to keep gun laws the way they are as well as attempting to add even more firearms to schools.
Because seeing a gun in their classroom won’t scare kids a bit, I’m sure.
Featured Image Via Workers On Board.