Serious Safety

Why students need to take lockdown drills seriously

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Schools have the responsibility to take care of the students and make sure they are safe. When things like school shootings happen, people become frenzied, wondering if this will happen at their school. They begin to blame the school system for not having better security in place. Schools have placed emergency plans for events like this to keep students safe but when the time for drills roll around, students do not take it seriously. So if the students do not care about their own safety, then why should the school?

Teenagers have the mindset that they are invincible. Nothing can hurt them and nothing will happen to put them in danger. Reality is, anything can happen to anybody. Teachers can see this idea first-hand when there is a drill in the school day. For example, Forest Hills had a Code 500 drill at the beginning of March this year during a class change. Teachers were not alerted that this would be happening and there has never been a drill in the middle of class change so everyone was taken by surprise. So much so, that everyone thought that the drill was actually real. Despite how real it felt, students kept walking down the hallway to their next class, ignoring the teachers calling them inside the classroom. The teachers finally rounded the students up in classrooms but that did not stop them from talking through the drill. If this incident had been real, then who knows what would have happened. Talking during a real situation could end up being fatal because it draws the violent individual towards students which puts them in danger instead of keeping them safe.

The honest truth is, the only way to know if a Code 500 drill is real is if you were to hear actual gunshots echoing through the school hallways.

If there was an actual school shooting, the secretary is required to stay calm when making the announcement. There would probably be administrators and the resource officer attempting to stop the shooter. Students would need to know to go into a classroom and remain quiet and hidden in order to stay safe. The students would need to be quiet, but they won’t because they never are in drills and this is a terrifying situation to be in. “How you practice is how you play” is what coaches always say. Therefore, students need to remain quiet in drills so they will remain quiet in real situations, when silence could possibly save their life.

Some students have stated that in a real situation, it would not go like the drills do. Everyone would be frantic, running around trying to get to safety. One could argue that in a life-threatening situation, you often rely on your instincts to get you to safety. It is what you trust and follow in times of trouble. So if students are used to running the drills and taking them seriously, then that is what their mind would tell them to do if ever faced with that situation. If they continue to act like nothing is happening and they are free to do whatever, then in the real situation, they will be more likely to be confused and frantic since they do not take the practice in drills seriously.

In conclusion, in order for students to have the best safety possible, they need to keep in mind how useful the drills would be if they were ever faced with a real school shooting situation and remember to treat everything like it is real because you never know if something could happen. It is only five minutes out of the seven hour school day. There is time to talk just not in drills when your safety is dependent on them.