The Locked Door

Like many of us, my daughter suffers from anxiety. Being a teenager there’s what seems like a never-ending list of reasons why her mind could be thrown into a tizzy. Her main source of anxiety comes from school. No, it’s not the academic workload or fretting about standardized tests that hammer home the fear that how you perform will shape your future. She’s an Honor Roll student who excels in the classroom. What she finds stressful are the crowds, the thronging mass of other teens jostling and ricocheting off of each other in the hallways. It’s an everyday, unavoidable occurrence between each period (unless they build her a network of secret underground tunnels, which I don’t think is quite in the school’s budget). Not to mention the annoyance of sharing classroom after classroom with kids who basically do not want to be there and who do not share the same tolerant mindset she has for her fellow human beings.

Well, her anxiety recently got worse due to a safety precaution her school is now taking, or rather, a teacher’s explanation of it. The semesters changed over this past month so classes and teachers also changed. On the first day, a new teacher of one particular class explained that she keeps one of the two doors to her classroom locked because they are the first classroom in the hall and if a madman with an Uzi comes into the school guns blazing, it will be more difficult for him to come busting in their room, spraying rounds. Now I’m all for keeping kids safe. That I have no problem with. I question the teacher’s sense in explaining the reasons behind the locked door, but apparently she felt the kids were old enough to take the news and process it accordingly.

However, this brilliant educator of children went on to voice her opinion that since the door was just a flimsy little piece of wood, the shooter could kick it in rather easily or else simply shoot through it. And what with the second [unlocked] door only about 10 feet down the hall, if the gunman wants to get in, one silly locked door isn’t going to stop him so “either way we’re all screwed anyway.”

I’m just not sure what the hell this teacher was thinking divulging this info to the kids and putting this heinous idea into their heads. She could’ve just said, “I keep that door locked at all times” and end it there. They don’t have to necessarily know it’s to slow down a psycho with a semi-automatic assault rifle, because once that possibility is raised, it can be a little difficult to erase.  Then, by all means, let’s take away even that tiny bit of a safety net by saying it’s completely useless.

This possibility, that someone could be kicking into the classroom at any given moment (because sadly this is the world we live in now)…let’s just say that has not helped my daughter with her anxiety whatsoever.  And she can’t be the only one. Kids nowadays have so much to be anxious over and this is just one more thing to stress about. School, much like home, is supposed to be a safe place. Only it isn’t. You think kids don’t know that?  They know it more than anyone else.

The school itself locks all of its external doors which is a good thing. They do what they can, as most schools do, and that makes me feel better as a parent.   I just don’t quite understand the teacher’s need to give such tragic disclosure. We know why cars have airbags and don’t need commercials showing someone flying through a windshield. We know why we own fire extinguishers and don’t have to be shown pictures of people burning alive.

All I’m saying is that while I appreciate the safety measures being taken I think spelling out the potential consequences can be a little unnecessary – especially given the teacher’s added personal commentary. It seems to me that adding stress to an already stressful situation (high school) could be a little counterproductive to the whole learning experience.

15 thoughts on “The Locked Door

  1. I can’t even believe the teacher has a degree. You should check that out. And aren’t locked classrooms a fire hazard? This is just one more craze and weird thing going on. We are so terrified of everything that we making everyone crazy. RULES AND MORE RULES for what? Oh well. Let us know if you talk to the teacher, I’d love to hear her explanation.

    • I guess it’s not a hazard since only one of the classroom doors is locked. But apparently it’s a school rule, not the teacher’s rule. I just didn’t care for the way the teacher explained it (along with her own coarse personal commentary). It was simply unnecessary.

  2. Report the teacher’s commentary to the principal. That teacher needs a refresher course in communicating with young people in our modern world. Flippin’ moron. I’m with you on this one, Wendy. No need to unload her baggage on her students. Puhleeeeeeze.

  3. Very insensitive of the teacher, I agree with everyone else comment question the teacher on the comment and if necessary take it to the principal. The old expression applies here…if you have nothing nice to say…say nothing at all or in this case keep their commentary to themself.

    • That’s what I thought. There was no need for her to add her opinion that she thought they’d all be screwed anyway. I mean, I felt there was no need to mention the door to begin with, but even if she felt they were able to handle “full disclosure,” she certainly didn’t need to erase that small semblance of safety with her next comments.

  4. Wow…. How unprofessional and irresponsible. She probably stressed out every kid in the class. I would totally report her. Who knows what she’ll say next?

    • I thought the same thing. It couldn’t just be my daughter who got a little stressed by the whole thing. From experience with my kids and their friends, teens like to act as if they’re all “worldly” and nothing bothers them, but they do in fact tend to stress about things, more so than many adults (especially in high school), and I can imagine that her comments bothered a lot of them.

    • I apologize for missing this comment earlier. I seem to have really dropped the ball on this entry. I agree with you. This teacher really failed in the tact department, big time. It had to have bothered more than just my daughter.

  5. I hope that her brilliant teaching skills and commanding grasp of the subject matter make up for her complete lack of common sense. To be this oblivious to what effect her comments have on her students might indicate that she picked a less than ideal field of employment – if she’s not oblivious but did it anyway, that’s a whole new level of irresponsibility.

    • I’m sorry for not replying to this comment when you made it. I missed a few comments on this entry and I’m sincerely sorry. I hate when I miss comments. Unfortunately, as time has gone on, we’ve come to realize this teacher has a very lackadaisical view on teaching to say the least.

Comments are closed.