Facebook post of Michigan 3 year old practicing a lockdown goes viral

FLINT (WJRT) -- (08/25/16) - It's an image that any parent can relate to - your 3-year-old child being silly and standing on the toilet.

Stacey Feeley thought it was because her daughter recently flooded the bathroom while washing her hands.

So she took a picture to show her husband.

Then, her daughter said something that broke her heart.

She said practicing lockdown, but you have to be very quiet.

The Traverse City mom posted it on Facebook and the post went viral.

Many parents were shocked a child so young was learning lockdown drills, but many schools compare the need for these plans to the need for fire drills to keep our children safe.

They are just 5 and 6 years old, but as the Pre-K boys and girls at Peyton's Learning Place get ready to start kindergarten, they've already learned something most adults haven't.

Pre-K teacher Coley Barkey Rowlands chooses her words carefully and reassures the children that this is a plan that will keep them safe.

At Peyton's Learning Place, that means getting every single child in their care doing drills, and babies as young as 6 weeks old are included in the lockdown.

In Michigan, every licensed day care is required to have an emergency plan in place, but unlike schools, they aren't required to actually do lockdown drills.

Owner Tiffany Habedank wanted to go above and beyond the requirements because she's seen firsthand the difference practicing the drills has made.

Tom Mynsberge runs Critical Incident Management and says being able to keep children quiet and hidden could make a lifesaving difference.

Adults who are concerned might be surprised how quickly young children adapt to the drills.

Mynsberge, a former member of the state police swat team, helped develop procedures to protect Michigan schools after the Columbine High School shooting. Now he contracts with local school districts and businesses to develop security plans.

Mynsberge brings police, school staff and emergency personnel together to talk through worst case scenarios and make sure there is a plan for the unthinkable, regardless of the student's age.

Mynsberge compares the need for these drills to the need for fire drills, which began nationwide after a fire in 1958 killed 92 children in Chicago. Because of the reforms instituted after the tragedy, no other school fire has killed more than 10 people since.

Mass shootings at Columbine, Sandy Hook and most recently at an Orlando nightclub have changed the world our children live in and created a need for new types of plans to keep people safe.

No one wants to imagine what the pre-k students call a "monster" coming into the daycare, and no parent wants their children imagining or fearing a shooter at their schools, but those in charge of keeping our children safe say it's part of a scary new normal in our society and they want them to know how to hide, just in case they ever have to.

Mynsberge says every parent should be asking, regardless of their child's age: What is the lockdown plan? How is it practiced and implemented? And do police or other safety experts participate and review how the school executes the plan?

Also, talk to your child so you can help reassure them if they have any fears about the drills and help reinforce that practicing them is just one more way the school is trying to keep them safe.



 
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