We need to talk about doorstops
They aren’t going to save your kid from a school shooter.
Parents, you may have seen the Facebook post below kicking around your feed in the past week or so (it’s been shared close to one million times):
I’m not asking you to share it. Nor do I want you to run out and purchase a bunch of doorstops for your kids. Rather, I want you to sit and have a good, hard think about using a small, rubber object as a means of protecting your kids.
Because, baby, what is you doing?
You’re asking too much
Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy. — F. Scott Fitzgerald
Okay, let’s assume the worst happens, and some crazed degenerate of a young, white male (57% of mass shooters fit this profile) comes barreling into your child’s school to pop off and go loco.
Ignoring everything they’ve been taught in lockdown drills, they whip open the trusty backpack, pull out a $2 doorstop and run toward the classroom door. This is the same door from which, presumably, a school shooter might emerge. To put it another way: you’re asking your kid to be a hero.
Isn’t that the exact opposite of what the doorstop is meant to achieve? Why risk putting your kid closest to where the bullets may fly?
Have you been to a school lately?
Presumably, you’ve been to your child’s school and seen the physical classroom where most of your child’s learning takes place. If so, you won’t even bother sending your kid to school with a doorstop. But let’s say you’re one of those parents who isn’t, ahem, all in.
Newsflash: The doors at every single school I’ve ever been in have opened out. Your doorstop isn’t stopping anyone.
Classrooms. Have. Windows.
Gawd. Even if, by some miracle, your child’s classroom opens to the inside, and he or she manages to block the door, the kids aren’t in the clear. The funny thing about bullets is that they can go through most doors quite easily.
Also, I don’t know what kind of prison center your kids are being educated in, but I’ve never been inside a classroom that didn’t have windows. Bullets go through glass like a knife through butter.
Exercise common sense.
Before you share this post or, shudder, follow suit in equipping your kids with a fancy piece of rubber or plastic, take a few steps back from the feel-good social media machine.
This idea is stupid—especially if your motivation is increasing the chances your kids survive a shooting. Because training them to run toward the line of fire is a pretty lousy way of accomplishing that.