This week, many of St. John’s Lutheran School classrooms are introducing the Safe Kids “H.E.R.O.” initiative, a five-part training program designed to help students (and their teachers) survive an armed intruder attack. It’s sobering stuff to be teaching children – but, sadly, a necessary one to teach, given the constant danger under which schools around the globe find themselves.
The good news? In my Homeroom, my Seventh Graders identified that, on the “Feel Safe” continuum, they feel safer at St. John’s than they feel in the greater Orange community. Clearly, our administrators have been doing their job of lessening the stress and anxiety that students feel while on our historic campus. The surprising impression (for me, at least) is how much tactical understanding the students already have regarding active shooter psychology, intent, and method. Everyone, it seems, has a story to tell about something they have heard about the subject.
In such anxious times, it is good to reflect upon Someone outside ourselves Who has our back – the Lord Jesus Himself. I find the words of Psalm 34: 7 particularly helpful when I consider the potential for danger that faces our children (and us!) every time we step out of our doors:
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them.”
In this incredible passage of assurance, King David offers the two promises we need to rely upon the most – security (“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him”) and physical protection (“. . .and He delivers them.”) King David’s words are exactly the sort of reminder we all need during these times of anxiety and fear.
St. Jhn’s Lutheran School needs the H.E.R.O. infinitive right now. Our students need to know how to protect themselves in the event that. . .well, you know. Even more so, though, St. John’s Lutheran School needs the confidence in Our Lord’s Hand of protection that King David declares in Psalm 34. I rely upon it daily. So should you.
May God continue to bless our school and all who call it home!
Together, with you, in Christ’s service,
Kevin G. Smith, Seventh Grade Language Arts