"WHY" CHANGE IS NECESSARY
As we travel around the country teaching about school safety and preaching our beliefs that our schools deserve a higher level of protection the two most commonly asked questions we hear are “why” school safety and “why” now? The answers to both questions are simple – Now, is aleady too late for some but not for many to come. There is a real and definable need for immediate advancements in the way our schools are protected and a clear cut path we have discovered for how to achieve realistic and commonsense solutions to fill some very definite school safety needs.
Everyone who does anything worthwhile has a reason for doing whatever noble work they’re pursuing, the founders of OKDI are no different in this way, and for the rest of this post we will hear directly from them as they share in their own words “why” they created OKDI and why the time is now for realistic and commonsense change to take place for the protection of America’s educational environments.
First a word from Mason Wooldridge, OKDI's CEO & CO-FOUNDER:
"My entire life I have had a sense of duty to help my fellow man achieve a higher level of success in their lives. For as long as I can remember I have felt a sense of duty to make the world around me a better place for everyone involved, however, it wasn’t until the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School that I realized not only are adults in need of real help in living more secure and successful lives, but in today’s America, children are more vulnerable than ever to not have the chance to grow into capable adults.
I have grown up in the time when our children are targets for extreme violence in their learning environments and whose only crime committed early in life is simply finding themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. My generation is regrettably the generation of senseless killing and extreme entitlement mixed with excessive narcissism, which has all led to the rising in events known commonly as “active-shooters” and more precisely as “active-killers.” I have grown tired of picking up the newspaper and reading about another act of violence in our school systems; whether they be gang related acts of violence or calculated acts of domestic terrorism. As a man I decided to get involved with the world of school safety because I knew there had to be a way to do something about it, to do something about children being killed in their schools, and in turn do something to help my fellow man.
After becoming an expert in the field of educational safety and active-killer events I have realized there are a few very basic problems in the ways our schools across America are being protected, one of which being that no governing or elected body is doing anything about safety in our schools that actually makes any sense to help solve the problem. As our kids continue to remain vulnerable in their schools it is only a matter of time before another school/s are targeted for extreme acts of violence which will lead to further deaths and less humans given the chance to live out the beautiful gift of life.
“Why now” people ask… because we’re already a day late and an elected official short from making a difference, and because I don’t have the right to complain about a problem If I’m not willing to aid in finding its solution."
And now a word from Jessica Cirulli, OKDI's COO & CO-FOUNDER:
"Four years ago I lived in a bubble, a happy and "safe" bubble. As a parent I had normal everyday worries and solved normal everyday problems. My thoughts about my daughter leaving home for school every day were thoughts of joy and excitement.
On Dec. 14th 2012, in Newtown, CT, when twenty little children and six adult staff members were fatally shot in their school - I was heartbroken for the families and innocent lives lost, but I want you to understand I was also like many other parents, still in complete denial of the problem. After the Sandy Hook tragedy I was still guilty of not connecting with the true reality that what happened that day wasn't just an incident that "never" happens, but actually an incident that can happen at any school, at any time and to anyone including my daughter and my family.
It wasn't until I met my best friend and business partner, Mason Wooldridge, that my life's course would forever change. He taught me what the actual reality of America's schools are in regards to the lack of safety against life-threat emergencies.
As a mother learning that a normal locked school door can be broken into within 10 seconds and that there are many vulnerabilities in all schools across our country when faced with a serious threat to life, I became sickened to the core. Gaining the knowledge of the fact that there are no statewide or national regulated standards of safety combating these vulnerabilities exposed the huge need for Mason and I, to make a change and stop at nothing until our nation's schools are better protected from life-threat emergencies.
I am a mother and a sibling of three amazing teachers and what I didn't realize four years ago was that living in my happy and so-called "safe" bubble, I was never going to save any of their lives, but getting educated, being aware of our current reality and taking action to make a significant change for the better can and will save lives."