Code Blue Blues: Active Shooter Drills in Schools


On our recent family vacation, my daughter innocently began to discuss a Code Blue drill she had at school. Unfortunately, I knew the very drill she was explaining. As an educator, I’ve had to implement them in my classroom each year. I sat there intently listening as she explained what to do if someone came into the school that shouldn’t be there. The tears came without warning. They came so fast I was unable to hide them. I sat there in a Chipotle restaurant extremely tearful and a little bit heartbroken.

For those that may not know, these drills are active shooter drills implemented in classrooms everywhere. They are known by different names (Code Blue, Code Red, ALICE, etc.), but they all serve the same purpose, to be prepared in case of a dangerous situation.

There I was, a grown woman, crying over a Code Blue drill. My daughter, on the other hand, was very calm and matter-of-fact about the situation. She noticed my tears and said, “Mom, are you ok?” What I couldn’t say at the moment, but want to say now is this:

My sweet girl, (& all other precious souls that endure these drills.)

I’m so sorry that we live in a world where we have to teach these drills inside of our schools. I’m sorry that at your youthful age you have to be taught about people with hate in their hearts and missions fueled by anger and rage.

I wish the only shooting you had to worry about was shooting for the stars and reaching your goals!

I wish instead of staying quiet to avoid an intruder, you would be staying quiet to listen to the sweet sound of your teacher’s voice as she teaches you something new.

I wish instead of hurrying to hide underneath your desk, you would be deep in a game of “Hide-n-Seek” at recess with your friends.

I wish instead of running from intruders, you were running from friends trying to tag you on the playground.

I wish instead of learning that there are people that want to enter the school to hurt you, you would notice all of the beautiful souls inside the school that dedicate their lives to help you grow and learn.

I wish instead of hearing an intercom preparing you for another drill, you would listen to an intercom announcing the amazing achievements of yourself and your peers.

I wish instead of practicing for terror, you could be practicing the new skills you are learning.

Hopefully one day these drills will be a thing of the past. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to feel confident again in the safety and security of our schools. Until then, I pray that we will never have to experience anything other than a drill. I pray that the only eventful days inside your school are based on learning, growth, fun, and achievement.

xox, Mom

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Wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea’s always had a way with words and a dramatic and energetic spirit. She is married to the love of her life, Justin. She’s the mother to a spunky and beautiful 7-year-old daughter named Hattie, an independent and rambunctious son who is 4, named Hutson and an adorable baby named Hyland. She is currently a University Supervisor for Anderson University and has a deep love of teaching and helping to inspire students. She is a Ball State graduate but an Indiana University Hoosier at heart. Chelsea loves writing and being apart of the IMB team. She also writes for her personal blog: Happiness, Hope & Harsh Realities.