Darnell Davis will never forget the day his son, a kindergartener at the time, came home from school to tell his dad all about the different drills they had practiced. Davis, who was working third shift and missing out on some much needed sleep, still took the time to practice those very drills within his home in order to protect his family in case of emergency. Fire, earthquake and tornado drills were something with which Davis’ family was quite familiar. Safety is a huge priority within the Davis household. If a natural disaster were to occur, they would be prepared.
What Davis remembers most about this particular conversation was the fear in his child’s eyes when he spoke about the “bad man drill.” Davis turned cold as he realized what his son was referring to . . . active shooter training. This is a drill that many of us did not practice when we were school-aged, but something that is all too familiar in our current way of life. Something so terrifying that is difficult to even fathom.
Davis’ child questioned his dad, “Why would anyone want to come to a school and hurt kids?” This is truly a perplexing question that any compassionate adult would have trouble answering. All Davis could do was hold his six-year-old tightly and tell him he simply had no idea.
Senseless aggression and random violence do not make any sense. These behaviors solve nothing, but only serve to instill fear in all of us. With every new incident, we are left feeling vulnerable and exposed.
While Davis had been working diligently toward earning his degree in occupational safety and health and fire science, he knew that his decision to pursue this would mean much more now on a personal level after speaking with his oldest child. To be able to look his children in the eye and tell them that he works every day to not only keep his family safe, but his community safe as well, is significant.
Davis is currently working on his master’s in occupational safety and health/environmental management. Once he earns this degree, his career plans involve going into the emergency, health and safety field (EHS), which will allow him to put his safety focus to great use every day.
His wife, Lori, is simultaneously working toward a bachelor’s degree in homeland security. Her future career plans include emergency management and local law enforcement. Both Lori and Darnell have many family members with military backgrounds, so perhaps their shared family history is what has guided the Davis family to pursue lifelong career goals that emphasize safety and security in their community.
Davis explains, “Being parents, it is our responsibility to keep our children as safe as we possibly can. Active shooter awareness and training are a part of both of the education and career paths we have chosen. CSU has been a blessing to our family by giving us both the educational opportunities we were looking for without having to sacrifice time together.”