Mid-20th century, when I was in elementary school (the 1960s, to be exact), we did not have school shootings, with students killing one another. Our main fear, in those days, was atomic war, when the Russians would drop the bomb, and within hours, maybe days, all that would remain of life on earth would be cockroaches.
With that in mind, some brilliant brain trust in the Office of Civil Defense devised a procedure for school children to follow in the event of what seemed to be that inevitable situation.
Part of the process involved the parents completing a card at the beginning of the school year. The form was basically a directive designating their desired disposal of their child should a natural (or unnatural) disaster require a sudden abortion to the regular school day.
As I recall, the available options on this sort of precursor to the living will were
* Child is to remain at school
* Child will be picked up from school
* Child is to get home the best way he/she can
I was already a latchkey kid, because Mom worked full time, and didn’t drive. So, every year, it was decided that when the air raids started, I should just head home, as usual. That was fine with me, as I definitely preferred to die with my family, rather than at school with a bunch of strangers, crayons, and No. 2 pencils. Continue reading