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Nov 03 2014

Rehearsing for death: A pre-K teacher on the trouble with lockdown drills

Category: School SecurityLori @ 2:04 pm Comments (5)

When we talk about school security / school safety we bring different perspectives to the table.  Many of us are parents or grandparents of children in school.  Some are educators or administrators, or those responsible for designing, securing, or maintaining school buildings.  Others are first responders or code officials.  In a recent edition of the Washington Post there was an article giving a teacher’s prespective on school lockdown…

Classroom LockRemember that activity when we all get in the closet and pretend we’re not even there, so our principal can’t find us?” I choose my words carefully as I prep my pre-kindergarten students for the lockdown drill scheduled for that afternoon. These drills have become routine at Arlington elementary schools, and at schools across the country. After the latest school shooting, on Oct. 24 in Washington state, schools will no doubt be running through drills yet again. What can we do about all these shootings?, teachers ask each other. Lock the doors, we’re told, and assume the worst is coming.

Click here to read the rest of this article.


Photo: Michael A. Schwarz/For the Washington Post

Thank you to Keith Nelsen of Lindquist Security Technologies for sending me the link to this article.

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5 Responses to “Rehearsing for death: A pre-K teacher on the trouble with lockdown drills”

  1. Rachel Smith says:

    Reading this article gave me the chills. As does every school shooting.

  2. John Larson says:

    At one time one only heard of lockdowns happening at prisons because a prisoner(s) did something against the rules and it was necessary to “control the prisoners”. Then a shift occurred in its use and it started occurring at schools to “protect the children”. Then the use was expanded and started happening at college campuses to “protect the students”. Now it is occurring at businesses and even whole towns “to protect the workers or residents”. Is this trend heading in the wrong direction because we do not know how to, or cannot, or are unwilling to address the cause of the problem? Is the solution really better locks and hiding in fear huddled a dark closet? What fear and scars will these drills implant in our children’s minds and imaginations? Even now I remember the “duck & cover” drills when I was in school and there was never an actual event that it protected us from. The children now drill because of actual real incidents. I must admit that I do not have the answers or even the right questions but I do wonder if the trend that we are following will actually provide us with the peaceful and healthy lives that we are trying to create for our children?

  3. Julia says:

    That was chilling and heartrending. I remember when my daughter was in Elementary school about 8 years ago and there was a gunman in the area of the school. They got put on lockdown. As a parent, all I could do was listen to the news and pray they were safe and not scared. I couldn’t imagine being a teacher and being responsible for all of those children.

  4. Pete Schifferli says:

    The Washington Post article refers to yet another well intentioned but jerry-built school security solution. The “Portable Affordable Lockdown System” (PALS) uses a steel cable looped around the inside lock lever with the other end attached to an eye bolt in the wall. Invented by a teacher, it is a poor excuse for the many very satisfactory classroom intruder function locksets which are now available and might prevent emergency exit from the classroom as well as lawful entry by authorized personnel. My two cents.

  5. Bryan McKeehan says:

    Hang an AR 15 over each teachers desk, secured with the classroom key. Train all teachers in the use of said weapon and expect them to use it in such times of need. Seems radical but it could be a great deterrent.

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