What do students think about the importance of lockdown drills?

The increase of school shootings within the last decade have led to more lockdown drills being implemented across the country. Are these drills really crucial to school safety?

Photo courtesy of Chris55 from Wikimedia Commons

The increase of school shootings within the last decade have led to more lockdown drills being implemented across the country. Are these drills really crucial to school safety?

The idea of a lockdown occurring becomes more of a reality every school year. This is especially the case in recent years with school shootings becoming more rampant, and awareness for gun control and school safety simultaneously increasing. Many students are concerned about the nightmare of an active assailant in school and wonder what the school can actually do to protect everyone in the building. 

“The information in the slides was not anything new really, we’ve done this in middle school too. I’m not sure what else the school could do, but I think we are still pretty safe with our current plans and security,” freshman Bella Rose Liu said.

Over the loudspeakers and in class during sixth period on Thursday, March 24, information was given to all students on how to react in a situation regarding an active assailant in the school. Some students think more could be done by the school themselves to protect students. 

“The presentation had good information for a potential lockdown, but a lot of it is too vague. I think it’s risky to put the situation in the hands of students and the teachers should have special training for a lockdown,” freshman Guillaume Fradet said.

The newly implemented training is called Lockdown with options which promotes considering one’s options in a lockdown situation. The method is named “Avoid Deny Defend” and described the process by which someone can assess the situation and act accordingly. If possible, someone should leave the school and avoid the threat, an example used in the drill was if a student is in the hallway and hears shots in a distant part of the school. The student should exit the school in the opposite direction. If shots are heard outside of a classroom, the teacher and students should lock the doors immediately and work to deny the threat from entering the classroom. Defending directly in a physical altercation is a last resort option when there is no other way to escape the threat. 

“Honestly, I expected the information to be more in-depth, it’s pretty much everything we do every single year, we don’t really learn anything but to hide in the drill and that’s natural instincts. The slides were just on the surface level of information,” sophomore Nathan Tegegne said.

Though most agree that the information has been repetitive in past years, it is important enough to keep everyone’s knowledge updated and refreshed, and especially increase the frequency of the drills.

“The lockdown was a good refresher from past years, we should have them more often though as to keep everyone more prepared for a real situation. We have only had one drill this whole year,” junior Jocey Gaul said.

 Others are concerned about holes in the plan for lockdowns.

“What happens if we need to enter a lockdown in between classes or during lunch? There would be nowhere to go,” Fradet said. 

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