Shootings are terrible. We’ve been living like this for so long that we’re used to it in the most horrific way.
It’s time to respond and do our best to combat the epidemic of gun violence in schools. There is a lot of debate surrounding the responses to these tragedies. How to handle firearms, mental health, and security are all ongoing topics of discussion as we think about what the future looks like and what we want for our ourselves and our children.
It’s a problem, and although we don’t have all the answers right now, it is time to react.
The school has already made moves to increase security with the implementation of the IDs. A drill where we can simulate the experience of a tragedy is just another step towards a more prepared student body.
For the first time in Creek history we practiced a lockdown drill. It took about 30 minutes and provided a sense of clarity and space to start a discussion about emergencies and tragedies.
The lockdown opened the floor to questions students may have had lurking underneath the surface but were not confident enough to ask.
Where do we go if we’re on campus but not in class? Can we use our phones? How will we be released from classrooms after the threat has passed? How does this prevent students from being injured? Wouldn’t a threat be aware of our tactics?
It’s not like the drill was a bunch of fun, but we appreciated it and thought it was a good space for learning. The explicit statement that it was in fact a drill was an important step in the process. The drill may have felt too real and too scary.
Having the drill announced prior to the event allowed students, parents, and teachers to prepare themselves and start conversations with each other.
Some of us experienced police personnel knocking loudly on the door and yelling for room occupants to raise their hands. This was a startling experience, but it added a seriousness to the situation and helped to get a better picture of what everything would really look like.
We feel safer now that we’ve been equipped with the tools to handle a situation that seems sadly possible.
In the future, we hope to have more lock down drills. It’s ludicrous to expect to have drills in every class, during every period of the day but if a tragedy were to occur, we don’t know which room we’ll be in. Having teachers discuss protocol with each of their classes and the intricacies of each classroom would provide a peace of mind.
Again, having a drill to cover every single class isn’t practical, but having a drill once a semester would allow the conversation to continue and answer the questions we’ve been asking. As well, solidify the protocol we’ve practiced.
This is something we wish we never had to think about, but it’s here and ignoring it is only going to bring more anxiety. The drill allows us to talk things through and feel confident in our course of action if a true emergency were to occur.