Dear Parents of School Aged Children: Do Lockdowns Get Easier?

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Dear Parents of School-Aged Children: 

I really wish this wasn’t a question I needed to ask. But here we are in America in 2024, and I just have to know. Do school lockdowns get any easier? 

Recently, my four-year-old daughter’s preschool went on lockdown due to a SWAT situation nearby. While details are still unclear, allegedly, a case of road rage turned into a man shooting an “AR-style pistol” at two women before barricading himself in a home. He eventually was apprehended, but not before shutting down schools and businesses in the area. I was traveling for work when I received the notification from her school. They made it clear the children were not under a direct threat, the situation was several blocks away, and the lockdown was purely a precautionary measure.

First and foremost, I am so thankful my daughter is being cared for by people who take her and her classmates’ safety seriously. But the second I read that word – lockdown – the air left my lungs, and I crumpled into a nearby chair. I spent several minutes just deep breathing, trying to control my emotions from spilling over in full view of my fellow convention attendees. All I could think about was getting on a plane home as soon as possible to hug my little redhead. In short, I was an absolute mess.

My husband later assured me over the phone that our daughter was blissfully unaware of why they had to eat lunch in their classroom and couldn’t go outside to play. But, despite knowing she wasn’t traumatized, I still am. I can’t shake the anxiety coursing through my body, nor can I stop the anger continuing to rise with the realization that lockdowns are going to be a regular part of her life. At four years old and not even officially school-aged, she’s already experienced one. How many more – whether real, precautionary, or practice – are in her future?

So, parents of school-aged children, I need your help. How do you do it? Do lockdowns somehow get easier? Do you just become numb to the fear? Is it so emotionally draining there’s no anger left? Are you able to swallow your anxiety when you send them to school the following day? My guess is the answer to all these questions is a resounding no. That lockdowns never get easier, that you’re always afraid and angry, and you hug them a little tighter at every drop-off. 

So, if that’s true, my next question is, what are we going to do about it? Are we voting for candidates that support common-sense gun laws and background checks? Are we making sure our state and communities fully fund mental healthcare? Are we supporting our teachers and schools? I hope the answer to those questions is a resounding yes and that we will work together every single day to make our schools and communities safe from gun violence. 

Because, honestly, I am not sure my heart can handle this for the next 14 (or more) years. 

With love and anxiety, Brynna

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Originally from central Illinois, Brynna moved to Indy in 2008 to take a job with the NCAA. Since then, she’s added wife, breast cancer survivor and mom to her resume. She married her husband Case in September 2015, was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2015, and gave birth to their miracle baby girl Siena in 2019. Her family is rounded out by two loveable but mischievous dogs, Wrigley and Ivy. In her free time, Brynna loves to host parties for family and friends, travel the world, drink fountain diet soda, run 5Ks with girlfriends, cook/bake, read and volunteer with the local non-profit Noble.