Because of the murders in Iowa City yesterday, my daughter's school was put under lockdown. I had no idea what that actually meant. I figured they lock all the doors, maybe lock the classroom doors, police patrol the area, and everything proceeds as normal for the kids. Apparently, that's not what happens. Rachel sat silently against the wall in a locked classroom with the lights out. They were not allowed to read or draw. They were positioned so anyone looking in the window in the door would not see the kids. I am not criticizing the school for this decision. It was a good one. I do wonder if maybe we need two types of lockdowns: a soft lockdown in this situation when there is no direct threat to this school and a hard lockdown when there's a decent chance the threat is coming at that particular school. A soft lockdown would be as I had imagined above. In cases of uncertainty, go with the hard lockdown.
Today I am, however, very angry at the person who killed the Sueppel family. It was probably Steven Sueppel, of course. I am angry not just because he killed five innocent people that he was supposed to protect and love. I am angry because his actions are going to have an impact on our entire community. I had to explain what happened to my daughter. So far, I have not had to tell her about the murders. I explained the lockdown was because a bad man who stole money was driving around town. When she asked if they caught him, I told her he died in a car accident. However, it seems highly unlikely that no one at school today won't be talking about the murders. And so I'll have to explain to my seven year old why a father killed his wife and four small children. And since I don't understand it, I don't know how exactly I'm going to be able to explain it to Rachel.
One thing I have noticed is that it's a lot harder to protect the younger sibling from these sorts of situations. If Rachel had been a four year old when this happened, she'd never have known about it. But Samantha is right there when I am explaining it to Rachel so her four year old brain has to wrap itself around the idea of a bad man driving around town. This isn't supposed to happen here in Iowa. We're supposed to be safe. That's one of the reasons I chose to live here.
Finally, I want to point in the direction of SideNotes, who has posted a poem someone wrote in the comments of one of the PC stories. It does a wonderful job of summing up how we're all feeling today.