Today was a rough day.
Around 9:30a an AP came over the speakers and called a Code Red. He sounded out of breath. He didn’t say it was a drill. I froze for a second.
I was in 6th period Journalism 1. I had six students in the room and about 30 on a Teams call. I immediately put the cover over the small window in my classroom door and got the kids to the safe area in my classroom. I muted myself on the Teams call and told those at home to sit tight, that I didn’t know what was going on.
I stood in the middle of my room near where my students were gathered. I tried my best to keep them socially distanced. They were silent.
That’s when I began to hear the sirens & helicopters. That’s when I began to have an anxiety attack.
I had to hold it together for the kids, but I know it was written all over my face. I began to text my teacher friends to find out what was going on. I texted my mom & husband. I texted my son who was in a different classroom on campus. I texted my daughter who was at the middle school next door.
My daughter’s school was on a Code Red, too.
It all came flooding back. This was too similar to what happened almost three years ago. This time I had my own kid on campus. This time I had two kids to worry about. Were they ok? Were they scared? How can I calm them down when I was freaking the fuck out?
After some time (I honestly don’t remember how long), we were downgraded to a Code Yellow. That meant we could go back to our seats and resume working. I unmuted myself and explained what was going on on campus to those at home. I told them to finish the assignment they were working on and we’d do the second part of the lesson next class. I let them leave the Teams call when they finished. I asked the kids in the room if they were ok. They all seemed more concerned with me and how I was doing.
I kept hearing helicopters. It sounded like dozens, but I think there were only two. I could see them from my window, just like three years ago.
The entire time this was going on, my phone was blowing up. Friends checking in on me, both those on campus and not. I was trying to calm down my son. I was trying to get information from my daughter.
At some point, I decided that I was going to go home when the period ended. I sent a text to my principal. I explained my situation to her, and she was completely fine with it. I just had to get out of there.
We were finally downgraded to a Code Green. That’s when we found out that it had been a prank call into the middle school where my daughter was. I believe the caller said someone with a weapon was on campus.
As soon as the bell rang, packed up my things. My son came to my classroom and hugged me as soon as I opened the door. He was visibly shaken and upset. I told him we were ok.
We left campus and drove home. I was greeted by Ruby, who was so happy to have us home. I took her for a quick walk and came in to my room. I was so happy to change out of my jeans & into my comfy pants. I put on the tv and just zoned out.
My husband left his office early to come home to be with us. He brought lunch, which was much needed. I was most likely not going to eat, since I had no energy or desire to make lunch or do anything.
I watched tv for a little while before taking a nap. I woke up and it felt like today was days ago.
I haven’t moved much from my bed since getting home today.
My brain hurts. My chest was so tight today. My nerves were shot. It’s so close to the third anniversary. I will never understand why someone would ever make that call to a school, let alone a school in Parkland.
People are idiots.