Today, I got a bit of a wake up call. Usually, I'm pretty busy at work and the kids' mother takes care of running anything up to the school. This time, it was my turn.

I found out that airport security and our schools have a lot in common.

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Don't Get Me Wrong. I'm All For Keeping Kids Safe.

There's something about sending your kids off to school on a normal day. You don't really think twice about it. You just trust they're in good hands, and that everything is being done to keep them safe.

Photo by Michał Jakubowski on Unsplash
Photo by Michał Jakubowski on Unsplash

It's nice. It's reassuring. Nothing beats that peace of mind.

Still, I was shocked at just how different things are now compared to when I was in school.

My Kids' Elementary School VS. TSA Checkpoints

After dropping off a bag of chips and a soda, I spent a little time chewing on exactly what had just transpired. Then it dawned on me. I've had an easier time getting on a plane, on some occasions, than dropping off a snack at an elementary school.

Dulles Airport Helps Travellers Navigate Security Checkpoints
Getty Images

Let's stack 'em up and see how they compare:

  • Cameras: Both are covered in cameras like a dog with ticks. They're everywhere.
  • Talking to a person of authority behind plexiglass: Yup. They've both got this one. However, at the TSA checkpoint, it's just the glass. At the school I had to talk into a camera. Defiantly, I poked my head around the corner and waved at the lady behind the desk. I'm here to report that she did not wave back.
  • Baskets/Trays: both make good use of the classic basket/tray method. Except, at the school they prefer you keep your shoes on. I did have to deposit the snack and soda into the appropriately marked basket after I had properly labeled it with a sticky note from the tray to the right of the camera.
  • Apps: I liked school better before there were apps. Apps are a mess, and they don't work right half of the time. I get poop updates from the daycare. I don't need poop updates, but I get them. They could tell me how regular the kid is when I pick him up. No need to send me alerts. Airports have apps for all kinds of stuff. They work just about as well; just without the bowel movements. I had to alert the teacher, via app, that I had deposited the snack in the basket.

I did all of this without even setting foot inside of the school. I was involved in a prison ministry for a bit, and security wasn't as tight there.

Again, I'm glad the kids are safe. I really am. It just broke my heart as I drove away. There's no innocence anymore.

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