Gransnet forums


Happy reunion, with sad reality.

(34 Posts)
schnackie Tue 21-Sep-21 13:53:00

I've lived in England for over 20 years, have British citizenship, passport and love this country. However with the covid pandemic, I was not able to see my beloved DGS & DGD for two+ years, as they live in New York. They were 5 & 6 the last time I visited, so now 7 & 8 - big changes! When I got my heart set on a visit this August, I was dismayed to learn that the bloody US was not accepting UK citizens! Well, I scrambled and with much difficulty and a bit of luck I was able to get an appointment at the US embassy in London and renew my US passport! In the event, I went and had an amazing visit! The children enjoyed every minute and didn't want me to leave. So that is the happy part. But whilst there, I was thinking about all the horrible school shootings that happen in the US, and tried to think of a way to ask the children about this topic. I asked about fire drills at schools, and then asked if there were any other 'drills' that they might have. They both responded energetically with "Oh yes, we have a drill for Uninvited Visitors" Oh my God, it sent a chill down my spine. They described how the school went into lockdown and how they hid in bathrooms and closets. My heart breaks even writing about this. I pray that they will never have this situation and try and focus on the wonderful, safe neighbourhood they live in, the happy childhood they are having, and my lovely DD and SIL who are loving parents. But being a grandparent includes worry doesn't it? Not really looking for advice, just sharing.

wildswan16 Tue 21-Sep-21 14:01:31

How lovely that you got a visit to see the GC. There are so many things that children seem to have to learn about far too young isn't there? But I do like the way they use "uninvited visitors" - that covers many unpleasant scenarios that hopefully never happen.

LauraNorder Tue 21-Sep-21 14:22:36

That’s sounds dreadful schnackie, I worry enough when my grandchildren at high school here in the U.K. talk about police officers patrolling their school each day. The little ones here seem protected from that.
Seven and eight year olds having to be aware is so sad. I do wish the USA would do something about their gun control or lack of it.
I’m glad you got to visit them, that must have been lovely for you all.

ixion Tue 21-Sep-21 17:15:30

DS in Queensland was horrified to learn of the 'fun game' his child played at Kindergarden that morning.
When the teacher locked the door, they all had to keep as quiet as mice and hide under the tables til she said they could come out.

He is 3.

DS checked it with his elder brother, now aged 5, who confirmed this had happened when he was there and then established that this was indeed a part of the school's safety policy.

welbeck Tue 21-Sep-21 17:20:31

i don't get why he would b horrified; it seems sensible planning to me, like fire drill. why would he prefer they not do this, ?
wouldn't that make the children more vulnerable.
also i'm a bit surprised that OP was pumping young children to talk about such things, i thought she meant she asked her children, ie AC, about it.
don't let your fears and anxieties infect young children.

Esspee Tue 21-Sep-21 17:27:39

My grandchildren are in the USA. I wish they weren’t. Every day it seems there are children being shot, often by siblings who have found daddy’s gun. Heartbreaking.

GillT57 Tue 21-Sep-21 17:34:39

With respect welbeck, I don't think you have quite grasped the OP's concerns. Yes, I agree with you that it is good to have such guidelines in place, but it is dreadful that they are needed in the first place, surely? I have school age relatives in US and I too worry about them, it is strange country which bans Kinder eggs as dangerous, but not guns, I was horrified to see children's school back packs being advertised which were made from the same material that Police bullet proof/stab vests are made of. How lovely it must have been for you to see your family after all this time Schnackie.

SueDonim Tue 21-Sep-21 17:35:48

You're very lucky to have seen your GC! smile I haven’t seen my GC in the US for well over two years now. Thank goodness for Zoom, though.

I’m not sure why you’d ask them about ‘drills’ at school, though. I’d ask the parents, if I wanted to know. I think it’s pretty obvious that schools in the US will have some sort of protocol for these situations. In California they also have earthquake drills. It’s all well-rehearsed.

It is a terrible thing to know children are having to live with such a threat to them, though. sad

Cabbie21 Tue 21-Sep-21 17:39:19

Not to be a scaremonger but there are horrific events in this country too. But not to dwell on what might happen.

62Granny Tue 21-Sep-21 17:39:34

Let us not forget Dunblane in Scotland , it can happen anywhere. Hopefully it won't but it is possible.

Galaxy Tue 21-Sep-21 17:54:38

It can happen anywhere but it is much more likely in the states because of their gun laws. I think that's what op is trying to say.

schnackie Tue 21-Sep-21 18:35:28

I actually did ask my AC and they didn't know. I believe I asked it in a non-threatening way, as we were just talking about the first days in school and what they were doing. I agree, I was SO very lucky to get time with them in person. Hugs and cuddles sunshine

Hithere Tue 21-Sep-21 18:45:35

I agree with welbeck.

Chewbacca Tue 21-Sep-21 18:52:32

I don't agree with welbeck. I do, however, agree with everyone else who has posted so far, especially Galaxy.

Hetty58 Tue 21-Sep-21 18:58:03

It reminds me of hearing about the daily gas mask drills at schools in WW2 - and the air raid drills (get to the shelter, or if in doubt, dive under your desk.)

My son really did have to dive under his desk at short notice, when the huge windows blew in during a gale. There was no time to leave the room - and everyone cried, including the teacher - but nobody was hurt.

Kids, generally, seem to just take it all in their stride, though.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 21-Sep-21 19:06:38

The OP already knew about the problems in US schools, I’m not sure why she insisted on asking the children about it.

Grannyben Tue 21-Sep-21 20:53:48

I know that it sounds really dramatic but, I'm sure these drills are carried out in an age appropriate manner and the children won't be disturbed by it at all.
My grandchildren go to a small local primary school in Yorkshire and they have been having these drugs for a few years. The little ones are put into a locked cupboard, usually because there is a loose dog in the playground. It's just routine for them

Grannyben Tue 21-Sep-21 20:54:42

Ooh, drills not drugsconfused

CanadianGran Tue 21-Sep-21 21:11:21

It is understandably a sad fact of today's life that they have such safety drills, but a good thing they are having them. I remember having 'duck and cover' drills in the 60's, but it was to do with the Cold War and the tension between US and USSR, with of coarse Canada being in the airspace between them.

Of all the stupid things to happen, there were demonstrators against vaccinations that went into a school in southern BC this week. The school had to go into a lockdown until demonstrators were removed. What they hoped to accomplish other than scaring students and teachers I'm not sure.

We also have fire and earthquake drills. Better prepared than sorry.

nadateturbe Tue 21-Sep-21 21:18:28

Agree with Wellback.

nadateturbe Tue 21-Sep-21 21:19:00


welbeck Wed 22-Sep-21 01:17:34

children have died from the contents of kinder surprise eggs.
the prevalence of firearms is an entirely different issue.

GillT57 Wed 22-Sep-21 11:52:25


children have died from the contents of kinder surprise eggs.
the prevalence of firearms is an entirely different issue.

and today's prize for stating the obvious goes to.....

welbeck Wed 22-Sep-21 14:42:32

so why mention the kinder eggs ban then.
would you prefer if american children had the equality of that hazard in addition to firearms risk.
your point does not seem logical to me.
likewise with the kevlar backpacks.
given that there are extra risks from various weapons, it sounds as if you object to the availability of knife resistant backpacks.
i think it sounds like a good idea. if i lived here and could afford it, i would get one for the children.

welbeck Wed 22-Sep-21 14:47:05

you seem to be saying that because american children face extra risks, compared with in the uk, therefore they ought to have no protection or planning for those risks, and ought to be exposed also to the risks that we have, eg kinder surprise eggs.
you obviously do not mean that.
i did not mock your post. i disagreed with it.
why mock mine. i have had some dealings with child safety.