March 1, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Barry Stock photo



Kris Beaver




Active-Shooter Training



The old plan was: Lights off. Lock classroom doors.

Pull blinds while children crouch in a corner.

Smile and comfort your class of sitting ducks.

Keep them silent. What if he blasts in? Luck’s

Run out? He finds the children?  Oh, by then

police will have arrived and captured him.

He’ll be cuffed. Hauled to jail. All by the book.

No bad words, blood or death. Then came Sandy Hook.

Now resist a stranger firing guns.

Scream. Throw crayons, chairs. Create chaos. Run

away zig-zag like zebras. Chances are

such crazed confusion will mess up his marks-

manship. More kindergartners might survive.

Enlisting animal instincts saves lives.





I wrote this poem in response to the recent school shooting at Parkland, Florida. As a retired kindergarten teacher, I remember trying to empower, not frighten students by practicing lockdown drills until they became automatic. After Sandy Hook, we taught students how to respond when face to face with an active shooter.  Knowing the students and staff at Stoneman Douglas High School had recently drilled for the same events, was heartbreaking. It can happen anywhere in a country where assault weapons are sold, where the right to own guns shoots holes in common sense.





Kris Beaver

With a BA in English and M.Ed. in Education, Kris Beaver enjoyed teaching elementary students and creating classroom curriculum for thirty-nine years. Her poems have appeared in ERGO: The Bumbershoot Literary Magazine and Spindrift.  Recently, two of her poems appeared in the Indolent Books What Rough Beast project.

Editor review


  1. Kris January 22, at 21:44

    So kind of you. I haven’t sent many out or published much. Just recently returned to writing after retiring. There are 3 issue/political type poems in Indolent Books a what Rough Beast.

  2. Bob June 23, at 15:26

    Terrific poem. Just saw your poem at Rattle this morning....where can I find more of your poems online?


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