Locking Down on Lockdown Rules

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Recently, Conant High School had a hard lockdown drill. Many students decided not to take it seriously. Why? Our school has drills to ensure the safety of all the students in case of a real situation. I believe students should take all drills seriously, but many seem to play them off as a joke, leading me to worry about our overall safety in a real situation.

Take for example, the Connecticut shooting that took place in Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. A man entered the school and shot and killed at least 20 young children and six adults. In situations where an intruder comes into the school, it’s extremely important for the students to know how to follow proper lockdown rules. It does not matter if it is a hard lockdown or a soft lockdown; to ensure safety, a student must follow lockdown rules even when the situation isn’t real. Taking drills seriously is a good way to start.

D​uring the lockdown at Conant, students decided not to follow the “no phone, and no iPad policy.” Instead, some students tweeted about the drill and took pictures during it. I think this definitely shows how our student body doesn’t care about these importance of these lockdown drills and isn’t serious about them. During an actual lockdown, a student is responsible for his or her safety and of those around him or her. It is extremely important to remain quiet and to turn all the lights off. You don’t want the intruder to know you’re in the classroom. But, if a student decides tweet during a drill, the screen’s brightness can provide enough light to let the intruder know that someone is inside.

F​urthermore, a funny tweet that causes a student to laugh out loud is a direct giveaway to where the students are. If the threat is a fellow peer, then he or she will know where the other students are because they may see the tweets on their phone, if they see tweets going up during the situation. Students who are tweeting or on any electronic device during a lockdown threaten the safety of those around them. And overall, tweeting during a lockdown shows that the students does not care about the drill. It also breaks the no electronic policy. In a real problem, things can spiral out of hand very quickly, and it is in situations like these where we don’t know what to do.

In other situations, a student may become panicked and text his or her parents. Though it is usually a good idea to call for help, telling parents about a hard or soft lockdown can cause parents to come to the school. If the threatening person is running around the school, a parent could become a casualty while trying to save his or her child. Our parents and guardians mean well to be concerned about our safety, but I think we’d all agree that armed policemen would be more effective in keeping us safe in a lockdown situation.

I​ do think ensuring safety is a difficult task. I know it is not something that we want to think about, but in many cases, it’s the student who puts a gun in his or her backpack and brings it to school. How can the school ensure that everyone is safety if not all students follow the rules? I think the gravity of the drill must be reinforced. We should not tell students that it is a drill. Students tend not to follow rules when they know it is a drill, because they know their safety is not being threatened. But if they were to believe it was real, they would follow all rules and it would prepare them for a real situation.

Following a lockdown drill is not very hard. All you do is turn off your devices and sit quietly where you can’t be seen. Just by following those rules, you can protect yourself and those around you.

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