What happened at my son’s school today is a sad reality of the world we live in.
Today, my sons learnt what to do in the event of an intruder entering school grounds. Philip, 10, happily informed me of the plan last night while we were getting ready for bed.
“Mum, tomorrow we’re going to practice what to do if an intruder enters the school. The ‘intruder alarm’ is going to go off and we’re going to practice.”
“That’s nice,” I said, trying to swallow the fear I immediately felt at the very thought of this ever occurring and then I swiftly changed the topic so he wouldn’t have the chance to pick up on how freaked out I am at the idea.
Philip was clearly quite excited to do the exercise. Anything that gets him out of doing actual school work usually has that affect. Giovanni is just 6, so while he’ll go along with what’s happening during the drill, I’m not sure if he’ll fully comprehend the importance of it.
I felt equal parts terrified and comforted today, at least that’s how I felt before hearing the news of the terrorist raids conducted this morning by Federal Police and ASIO. In the very suburb in which we live. All to prevent a possible terrorist act. How I felt after that can be more accurately be described as complete and total panic.
Most days I allow myself to remain under the happy illusion that my children are safe while they are at school and that we are safe because we live in a nice, quite, family-friendly suburb. When Australia’s terrorism alert was raised to ‘high’ I thought that avoiding the city and large crowds might be a smart thing to do.
It never occurred to me that the danger would be so close.
And what I kept thinking was, “What will we do? What will I do? How will I keep us safe? How will I keep my children safe?”