A couple weeks ago, we had a lock down drill at school. Lights off, crawl behind the desks and tables to hide, lock the doors, and be silent. I had 5 fourth graders with me in my office for my daily morning reading group. One of them asked what we were doing and why. I explained that we were practicing how to be safe in case somebody were to come into the school who didn’t belong there– in case a ‘bad guy’ were to come inside. The boy asked how I would know if we were safe if someone was knocking on the door, and I explained that we would stay in the room until we heard a police officer at the door.
“Police officers are good. If they knock for us to come out, we would know we would be safe.”
Then the boy — the 10-year old black boy– he said something that made my heart stop.
“No they’re not good. They’re not safe.”
And then I remembered everything. Ferguson. Riots. News. Race. Police. People. Blackness.
I said nothing.