School Lockdown Drills Will Not Be Our New Normal

So let me tell you what it is like to experience a school lockdown drill.First, you don't know if it's a drill or a real event. You hope and assume it's a drill, as some of the Florida students thought at first. But you don't know. The lights must be turned out and the door locked so that a shooter could not see if anyone is in the room. In classrooms, where there is a window in the door, a coiled piece of heavy paper is usually attached over the window which is lowered during the drill to cover the window. You tend not to notice that coil, until there is a lockdown. Students and teachers hide in whatever spots are available in the room; no phones are supposed to be used because the light might alert a shooter to students, or targets. Occasionally, a school official on the other side of the door will try to open it to gain entrance to the classroom. They may rattle the door noisily, which, in a silent room of hiding children, is startling. Or they may try to open it gently, which, in an odd way, can be even more unnerving. At the end of the drill — perhaps 15, 20 or 30 minutes later — an "all clear" is given and the drill is over.  Continue reading...

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