School Lockdowns: What they are & How to talk to your children about them
Fifty years ago, air raid drills were the routine practice in schools, in which students were instructed to “duck and cover” under their school desks in case of a nuclear bomb blast. However after the Columbine shooting in 1999, preparing for an active shooter situation has become the new standard for school districts across the nation. According to Associated Press reports, there have been about 500 school-associated violent deaths over the past 20 years—which averages out to about two per month. These statistics have called for school systems and parents alike to face the disturbing reality that their very own students could become victims of school-associated violence.
School lockdowns are the procedural drills used in the event of a perceived danger present inside the building. They typically include the securement of each occupied room by locking the doors and directing students away from windows and doors. Hallways are cleared, and law enforcement officials will typically arrive to secure the site and arrange for evacuation if necessary. Students are kept in their classrooms until the lockdown has ended.
As many schools are required to practice these drills multiple times throughout the schoolyear, they have become the norm for students of all ages. Though still, many parents hesitate to discuss these lockdown drills with their children, as they can invoke unnecessary fear and distress. However, it is important now more than ever to ensure that students are prepared and equipped with an action plan in the unfortunate event of an active shooter present in their school. Clinical therapist Judith Simon Prager recommends that parents instruct their children to always refer to an authority figure for safety and information in the case of an active shooter. She also recommends instructing children to remain calm and on guard in emergency situations, and explain that it is necessary to practice the drills regularly to ensure preparedness. Prager wrote a comprehensive guideline for parents on how to talk to children about these lockdown drills, with emphasis on empowering them with the knowledge to stay safe and protected at school.
In recent years, however, many people have come forward and argued that these standard guidelines and drills are too reactive, and increase the likelihood of students becoming victims. Police Lieutenant Doug Allen of Colchester, Vermont, says that “just [locking] down” is not enough. He stresses the importance of teaching students to be “prepared to fight out against the aggressor.” State education agencies across the country are urging school districts to update the active shooter response plans with new guidelines and procedures that are more proactive and empowering for students.
At BulletBlocker, our NIJ IIA bulletproof backpacks were created to counteract the reactive emergency guidelines implemented in school systems. The discrete anti-ballistic panel weighs less than two pounds, and cannot be detected inside the backpack. The backpack can easily transform from a storage space for books into a mechanism to defend oneself against a threat. Students simply hold the pack between themselves and the threat by using the straps as handles, and using the pack as a shield to provide coverage for their upper torso. Dr. Seifert, forensic and child psychologist, believes that the BulletBlocker backpacks are “absolutely necessary” in this day and age. Seifert asserts that “every parent should buy a [bulletproof backpack] to protect their children.” Not only do our backpacks give children the ability to actively protect themselves in emergency situations, they also give parents the peace of mind and confidence they deserve when sending their children to school each day.
Lighten the Load: Choosing a backpack that won't break your kid's back
With September nearing, back-to-school shopping is in full swing. Searching for the perfect new backpack can be an annual headache for parents, while they look for a backpack that is functional and reliable, and students seek out a style that looks good. Finding a high-quality backpack that does not compromise on fashion is important to students and parents alike.
More than ever, it is necessary to find a backpack that fits properly according to individual weight and size. Time and time again, studies have shown that wearing a backpack that is too heavy, or worn incorrectly can cause back and neck pain, muscle soreness, headaches, and eventual injuries. Dr. Christine Brandner from Sioux Falls Chiropractic stresses the importance of finding a properly fitting backpack for students, and advises parents to find one that has “two straps, with a clasp in the front,” to ensure the weight is bearing equally on both sides of the body. She also recommends wearing the bag higher up on the back to take weight off the shoulders. Finally, Dr. Brandner cautions parents that their children should not be carrying any more than “eight to twelve percent of their body weight.” With that in mind, if a student weighed 100 pounds, the most their backpack should weigh is around 12 pounds.
Unfortunately, many students do not follow this recommendation—as their school workload rises, so does the weight of their backpack. Consumer Reports conducted a survey in 2009 to determine how much weight students carry as a result of an overloaded backpack. They found that on average, second graders in New York City schools carried about five pounds, while sixth graders carried an average of 18.4 pounds—although some backpacks weighed as much as 30 pounds. From this finding, it is inferable that as students move on to higher grades, they increasingly carry more weight, and consequently, inflict more strain on their body.
At BulletBlocker, safety is our main goal. We take pride in our quality collection of back-to-school safety solutions that includes bulletproof backpacks, panels, binder inserts, and notebook portfolios among others. Not only do the backpacks promote reassurance and confidence among parents, students will also be satisfied with the stylish options they have to choose from. In addition to providing security and style, our backpacks are ergonomically designed for all-day comfort and have adjustable features that accommodate individual size and height. The popular “Everyday Backpack” is compact with ample storage space for students of any age. The anti-ballistic panel weighs about as much as a water bottle, which keeps the backpack at a low weight of just 2.7 pounds. This allows students to fill their backpacks to their liking without worry of overloading weight on their back. The dual straps are thick and padded for comfort, and easily adjustable to individual size and height. Another favorite is the “Guardian Backpack,” which comes in five different colors and weighs in at 4.5 pounds. It features padded and ergonomically curved straps that stabilize the bag and provide all-day comfort. In addition, the backpack offers a clasp across the chest, which will ensure that the weight is stabilized equally on both sides of the body, as Dr. Brandner suggested.
With school starting back up again within the month, it is important to ensure that students are equipped with a backpack that will keep them safe, comfortable, and stylish. Luckily, BulletBlocker has the products necessary to fulfill the needs of parents and their students. For a limited time, customers can enjoy a 10% off discount on all orders with the code “schoolten.”
Survivalism and Survivalists encompass a very wide range of interests focusing generally upon disaster preparedness - for any type of disaster. When the power goes out, and stays out, what do you do? Well, if you're smart, you've done something to prepare for this possibility. Planning for virtually any disaster equates to planning for all natural and man-made disasters. Different situations may call for modifications, but the things you absolutely need are food, water and shelter. There are a lot of things that make being without electricity a lot easier. Flashlights and batteries, matches and lighters, canned goods and other foods with a long shelf life, gardens, fishing and hunting. Survivalism is about a lot of things - not just being prepared, but being self-sufficient, and practical education on how things work. There's more to cover about Survivalism, than I can cover here. To your right, you will find a great blogroll of the best Survivalist sites, blogs and forums available online. Below this article, you will find some short reviews on them, too.
"Something" Hit the Fan: Not knowing which disaster is on the way makes it easier to sleep at night. On the other hand, if you enjoy life, you want to do everything you can to preserve it and the lives of those you love and care for. The global economy is front and center, and has everyone's attention. The state of the dollar and other currencies, banks, financial institutions and government solvency are just one set of very critical issues that have many people very concerned. Disasters are "Something Hits the Fan Scenarios". The global financial crisis was a long-time in the coming. It is the direct and explicit result of not taking steps to confront risks. We have in the United States single companies requiring hundreds of billions of dollars in bail outs of taxpayer money. These companies did not take steps to reduce, eliminate or even balance their risks. That, unfortunately, is the mainstream.
Global Financial Crisis: Mass Coronal Ejections and Polar Shifts may sound far fetched, the global financial crisis is not. It is real. It is here, now. The only real question here is how much worse will it get? More than survivalists are preparing now. The United States is the world's largest economy without counting the European Union, being a collection of sovereign states. The State of California alone ranks 8th in overall world GDP - and could stand as a nation unto itself. California in addition to 40 more of our 50 states are in the midst of major budget issues. The United States has been significantly dependent upon China, of all countries, to buy US Government Bonds. On June 28, 2009 even the Chinese banks were deemed to be in financial trouble.
The Theoreticals - What If...? It's appropriate to ask a lot of questions. What happens if... your employer goes out of business? What if... your bank gets closed down? Odds are you are probably safe on up to $250,000 per account by the FDIC, but even that has limits. What if... California goes bankrupt? Okay, so that won't happen because it will probably get a Federal Stimulus Package. So, what happens if any one of the other 40 states without a balanced budget does not get a stimulus package? What happens when you go to your bank and you can't get money out? Even if you are prepared, how is everyone else going to handle any of this? How prepared are the millions of people who live from paycheck to paycheck to handle any one of these situations?
Fear Mongering! Promoting fear is to encourage people to run away from problems. Fear is trying to avoid problems knowing they aren't going away. Turning and facing them, planning and preparing for them is not promoting fear - it's promoting courage and decisiveness. Hope is not a strategy. Looking at what the numbers have been saying and are saying now is rational. Relying upon what may or may not exist in 3 or 6 months is not rational. Not being rational is what got us into this global economic mess. Watching Wall Street is not rational. It is normal to be scared when confronting problems. It is irrational to be dominated by fear. Oh, sure...the economy, it'll be fixed in three months. The banks? They're fine, just need a few billion more - no sweat. Jobs? Green shoots are on the way, man! That'd be fine if cows were unemployed.
Survival Community Blogs and ResourcesSurvivalistBoards.com - Extensive, friendly and educational. Just about anything you could want to know about everything related to disaster preparedness, contingency planning, and large portions of what is also associated with LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) is on file here. Health, Fitness and First Aid is one section, Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping is another. Urban Survival to Farming, Gardening and Recipes - feature everything from how-to's to lists of things you will need and want. There's active conversation and debates on many topics, most of all you will find it to be a very friendly site more respectful of others than you're likely to find on any political forums. Think you are alone in your concerns? No.
SurvivalBlog.com is dedicated to family preparedness, survival, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. Written by author and former military intelligence officer Jim Rawles, his site is viewed in over 100 countries. Lots of very good information - hundreds, if not thousands, of posts.
The Survivalist Blog - An independent blog with some pretty good articles, including quick tips on assembling your own "Grab And Go Survival Pack" also known as a "bug out bag".
Urban Survivalist Blog - This would ordinarily be too small and inactive to include in this list for having only three articles. They focus on short-term disaster preparedness, quick and easy.
You can save money with BulletBlocker by getting our Bullet Proof Panels and Inserts and fitting them to your existing backpacks, briefcases, or just about anything. We can also make custom-made panels to fit whatever you need at just $ .92 per square inch.
Updated August 1, 2017
70 Wilbur St. Lowell, MA 01851 Bulletproof Vest, Body Armor, Tactical Gear and Bullet-Resistant Protective Clothing