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Lola Urban

Greendale Middle School, Wisconsin

I remember when we first started to see huge violence in school areas. The idea of kids under 18 having to fear everyday I never felt like I had to be scared of school before this started to happen. As a kid, you're oblivious of what these drills mean or what could actually happen. To a child, you see a drill as a weird precaution that people fuss over. You never think that it would happen to you, or your school, Until you experience the fear of it. Our school had a threat recently, and that's just changed how I've seen so many things.

That day was like no other, just a regular Monday morning. We go to the first hour, then second, then third hour classes, and nothing changed,But in the fourth hour, it changed. At 11:45, we got an announcement. We were in complete lockdown, and there was an outdoor threat. We huddled by the door, making jokes and waiting for the drill to be over. I remember the moment that someone asked our teacher if it was a drill, and the answer was horrifying.

“No, this isn't a drill”.

That moment is when my heart sank into my stomach. There could be someone outside trying to harm us. The thought continued to float around my head that whole time. We stayed in that class for at least an hour and a half. The police had surrounded our school, and we were all just fatefully waiting to see when we would be released. Everything felt fake, like I was dreaming and I would soon wake up in my own cold sweat. That wakeup never happened though. After what felt like the whole day, we were told to leave our classes and go to our 6th hour class. No one had been told anything about what had just happened, which just led me to worry more. I wasn't told anything till I got to the 7th hour, where I was informed someone was saying they would harm our school, and had fully planned what would happen. Luckily, someone told the school authorities. This led to the lockdown and the fear. This scared me. What if no one had said anything? Would we have been harmed? Was this just an elaborate prank? These questions followed me to the end of the day, and still do.

My view about things hasn't been the same since then. I now understand the fear that people have to have, because of the harm that could come. The one thing I hate is how no one talks about it. They say nothing, like it never happened. But it did happen. This is what I fear most. That these things are becoming normal in the America that I live in. It should not be normal for a child to have to fear about their lives, or their friends' lives. This should be something that needs to be talked about, not kept in a cabinet in the back of our minds to rot away and die. We should know what happened and talk about it. Talk about the problems we are facing in America so we can prevent them. No one should have to go through that fear, whether it is a threat or actual harm. We should talk about the things that our young lives, that will one day rule this country and lead it, have to fear now.

© Lola Urban. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.