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A 10-year-old on what happens in an active shooter drill

StoryCorps has been recording and sharing real life experiences from people who have extraordinary stories to tell. In this animated short, 10-year-old Dezmond Floyd and his mother have a difficult but important conversation about active shooter drills in school.

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  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    StoryCorps has been recording and sharing real experiences from people who have extraordinary stories to tell. In this animated short, 10-year-old Dezmond Floyd and his mother have a difficult but important conversation about active shooter drills in school.

  • Tanai Benard:

    So can you tell me exactly what happens in active shooter drills?

  • Dezmond Floyd:

    The teacher's supposed to lock the door, turn the lights off and push this big desk behind the door. And the first time I did a active shooter drill, I saw her having a hard time with this, so I decided to come help her.

  • Tanai Benard:

    So what do you do next after you push the table?

  • Dezmond Floyd:

    The class is supposed to stand on the back wall, but I decided to stand in front of the class because I want to take the bullet and save my friends.

  • Tanai Benard:

    So does your teacher ask you to stand in front the class?

  • Dezmond Floyd:

    No. My life matters, but it's kind of like, there is one person I can come home to the family, or they can be 22 people they come to the family. I get that you will want me to come home, but it's really not a choice that you can make. It's a choice I have to make.

  • Tanai Benard:

    I see now that there's nothing I can say that would change your mind. I just hope that it never comes to that.

  • Dezmond Floyd:

    Talking about this makes me feel sad. But you raised a good person.

  • Tanai Benard:

    And this is why I can't have the conversation with you. You keep saying things like that. I'm speechless. You are 10 and you're that 10 year old who doesn't clean their room and — there is no handbook for this. This is why the conversation always ends between you and I in that silence. Because I'm a mother. And I don't know what to say.

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