Schools Should Continue Lockdown Drills Without Traumatizing Kids

School active shooter Shooting Drill

Fourth grade students huddle in closet a during a lockdown drill at the St. Bernard School in New Washington, Ohio, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. A month after the shootings of 20 students and six educators in Newtown, Conn., St. Bernard School principal Susan Maloy, inspired by the memories of those who lost their lives, has decided to hold lockdown drills on the 14th of each month to refine a safety plan and increase school security. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Jaclyn Schildkraut, State University of New York Oswego

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an advocacy group, has joined with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Educators Association, the nation’s two biggest teachers unions, to produce a report on lockdown drills in schools. The report calls for drastic changes in how these drills are conducted today. They say that drills shouldn’t be a surprise, involve realistic details or include kids.

These concerns reflect questions I consider in my research about the impact of lockdown drills: Is it possible to be prepared without being scared? And do kids need this training or just teachers and other school staff?

I agree with some of the teachers’ and Everytown’s concerns, but I don’t agree that kids shouldn’t participate in drills.

Lockdown drill excesses

There’s been no shortage of troubling headlines about lockdown drills and similar practices in recent years.

Teachers in Monticello, Indiana, in March 2019, were hurt when they got shot in the back with plastic pellets.

Students in Franklin, Ohio, were exposed to sounds of simulated gunfire.

Sometimes, role-playing kids and teens, covered in fake blood, are scattered throughout their schools – screaming.

Holding emergency drills

Today, more than 95% of public schools conduct lockdown drills. They became considerably more commonplace and focused on active attacker situations after the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, in which 12 students and a teacher were murdered.

But U.S. schools have held emergency preparedness drills for decades.

In the 1950s, students practiced duck-and-cover drills to prepare for the atomic attacks Americans feared would occur during the Cold War.

Fire drills became commonplace in schools after 1958 – when a student at a Chicago parochial school started a fire in the building’s boiler room. The conflagration killed 93 students and two teachers.

Across the nation, students, faculty and staff participate in drills to prepare for earthquakes and tornadoes without hesitation or second thoughts. These practices have become routine.

So why is resistance to lockdown drills rising to the point where teachers and activists are calling for their abolition?

The importance of practicing

There are two key reasons why there is such an aversion to lockdown drills.

The first comes from a muddling of two things that are related but not the same: exercises and drills. Exercises incorporate realistic sights and sounds, such as the simulated screaming and bleeding that might occur during a mass shooting.

Drills, on the other hand, only require practice, such as evacuating a building or locking doors and getting as many people as possible out of sight.

Nobody sets schools on fire during fire drills to make them seem realistic. Instead, everyone practices how to respond so that it’s easier to do the right thing in frightening situations.

Exercises and drills are often talked about as if they are the same. But they are different, a point that often is lost in the call to end the practices associated with them because both are often perceived as traumatic.

Three studies

A second reason that lockdown drills are misunderstood is the lack of available research.

Anecdotes about the impact of lockdown drills are everywhere. Evidence, however, is scarce. To date, just three studies published in academic journals have examined the effects of a lockdown drill on students.

In 2007, psychologists Elizabeth Zhe and Amanda Nickerson found that when conducted in accordance with best practices, drills can increase awareness of how to respond to a situation without increasing anxiety or making people feel less safe.

Ten years later, researchers at Sam Houston State University, Misty Jo Dickson and Kristina Vargo, found similar results: With continued practice, kindergarten students were able to master most of the steps required during lockdown drills.

Most recently, Nickerson, Syracuse school safety leader Thomas Ristoff and I found that participation in training and accompanying lockdown drills makes students feel more prepared. Building confidence enhances the ability to do what’s needed during an emergency, our research indicates.

Consistent with the calls made in the report by Everytown and the teachers unions, I believe schools should use best practices when conducting lockdown drills. According to the National Association of School Psychologists and others, this doesn’t include simulation exercises that involve fake blood and screams.

Experts agree that participants should know that they’re experiencing a drill, rather than a real situation, to minimize the possibility of trauma. School administrators can schedule these drills in advance so they aren’t completely unexpected. Mental health professionals should help with planning. And these drills should be appropriate both for the ages involved and for special needs such as prior traumatic experiences.

Also, teachers and staff should always talk with students afterward to answer any questions they may have.

Although lockdown exercises have become more elaborate since 2007, lockdown drills have remained largely the same.

Defining objectives

Lockdown drills, like fire drills, should help people respond correctly in emergency situations by making them practice. Along with training, having clearly defined objectives is critical. Students must learn what to do and why.

Schools typically have three clearly defined goals during lockdown drills: lock doors, turn off lights and remain silent and out of view of anyone in the hallway.

In real life, situations that would result in a lockdown being called – such as an armed attacker on school grounds – usually end within minutes. Locking doors slows down assailants, giving first responders more time to stop them.

Turning lights off makes it harder for an attacker to find their targets, as does remaining out of sight and staying quiet.

Each emergency situation is different. Each has unique circumstances dictating the right response. This is why I believe that training is so important: It empowers students, teachers and others to make critical decisions in a crisis.

The nature of an active shooting means that adults can’t always make all of the decisions. In both the Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings, teachers were killed, leaving rooms full of students vulnerable. Students must have the necessary skills to respond on their own. That’s why I consider calls to only train teachers and staff shortsighted.

Being prepared

parkland memorial event

Students and parents gathered a year after the Parkland mass shooting at a memorial event. mpi04/MediaPunch /IPX via AP

Although school shootings have become a matter of grave public concern, public schools remain among the safest places for children to be. Mass shootings at schools are rare. Yet they do occur.

I believe kids should be prepared, but also that drills don’t have to be scary to be effective. Schools can take steps to minimize the anxiety and trauma surrounding lockdown drills and still help students, rather than just their teachers, know how to respond.

While I don’t recommend exercises featuring plastic pellets and fake blood, the evidence available indicates that practicing what to do when an emergency arises is worthwhile.

 

This article incorporates material from an article published Nov. 22, 2019.

[ Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter. ]The Conversation

Jaclyn Schildkraut, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, State University of New York Oswego

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

comments

  1. avatar Darkman says:

    They damn well better be scary as Hell and a realistic as possible. Otherwise it becomes just another way to get out of class for an hour. Much like A.L.I.C.E. training has become. I’ve set through it 3 times. Almost every person considered it a joke and a waste of time. Not because the info is bad. Because it is unrelateable to the average person. No one expects a SHTF scenario to effect them. I recently went through 2 active shooter drills in my community. One at the court house with law enforcement and one on a military installation. The difference was phenomenal. The people at the court house had no idea of what to do or not do. Even after A.L.I.C.E training and knowing the drill was being held. The people on the military installation took it damn serious. Why? Because they understood how serious the situation could become. People better stop worrying about training being to realistic and traumatic. Real life sometimes really sucks and people die. The old saying the more We train on the field…The less We bleed in battle. Is never more fitting than in this instance.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Darkman,

      Young children are not developmentally ready to handle simulated bloody victims and corpses in their drills. And to be perfectly honest, I do not see any value nor benefit to having simulated bloody victims and corpses laying around during drills. In fact that could actually distract students and reduce the effectiveness of their drills.

      1. avatar James Campbell says:

        …….and yet the left still tells elementary school children they will die in 12 years, IF they FAIL to convince EVER adult in their family to vote for far left politicians and a socialist adjenda.
        But no pressure kids, it’s not like we’re abusing you or anything.
        Best of luck growing into a well adjusted adult.

        1. avatar Mr. Cool says:

          That doesn’t happen Mr. Tin Foil Hat.

        2. avatar James Campbell says:

          “That doesn’t happen Mr. Tin Foil Hat.”

          Then explain the vid of the CA school children in Rep Diane Fs office yelling at her that she MUST vote for the “Green Deals” or else EVERYONE will die.
          If, as you state, the children didn’t get that from the public schools, please provide your learned option as to where this brainwashing came from.

        3. avatar James Campbell says:

          And thanks for joining TTAG (or changing your username) to respond to my comment Mr Cool (first time comment it appears).
          Look no further then AOC (Miss Green New Deal) in NY elementary school classrooms talking with students, with ALL her social media addresses written in HUGE letters/numbers on the blackboard. The GND is ALL she has.
          Perhaps YOU are the “tin foil hat” wearer.
          Funny how the far left uses the “WOKE” term, yet can’t see the forest for the trees.

        4. avatar Gordon in MO says:

          Mr Cool: “That doesn’t happen Mr. Tin Foil Hat.”

          My grand daughter told me she is scared to go to school every day, afraid she will be killed there.

          The schools are pushing the narrative that school shootings are epidemic everywhere. Why, because guns.

          Vote for socialists, they will take care of everything for everyone. /scar

      2. avatar Darkman says:

        And yet nearly every video game,TV show and Movie. Shows that very thing. Blood, Guts and Gore are celebrated as the latest form of entertainment. Most so called children (10-18) have been desensitized to these things and the violence that goes along with it. A good dose of the ugly reality of life may save them when it rears it’s face to them. Shielding them is much the same as having them believe Gun Free Zones will protect them. The world isn’t the place many grew up in 20 or more years ago. Evil is closer to the norm than the exception in today’s society. Hiding it doesn’t make OUR children safer. It does make them unprepared victims. Better to face a little perceived trauma today than fatal trauma tomorrow. Living is hard. Dying is easy. Especially when you aren’t prepared to survive.

      3. avatar dph says:

        Many years ago I took driver’s education in high school, we were made to watch a movie called Blood on the Highway. Very gory with pictures of real accidents and victims. We all still drove and as far as I know we weren’t mentally damaged by it. Kids adapt, if they are that weak in the head, better to know now.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Sure, by the time a student is 15 years old for driver’s training, they are much more emotionally ready to handle the blood and gore of real life. (Whether or not introducing simulated blood and gore to a spree-killer response drill is productive is a different question.)

          I can guarantee you that it is WRONG to introduce simulated blood and gore to young students in first grade practicing a spree-killer response drill. When would most students be able to process blood and gore? My gut reaction is around the age of 14.

          At any rate, I want hard evidence that introducing simulated blood and gore — simulated bloody victims and corpses — enhances the effectiveness of spree-killer response drills. Until that happens, we should NOT use it because it is wrong to introduce it to young children and it could just as well detract from as enhance the drills.

    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “They damn well better be scary as Hell and a realistic as possible.”

      That’s exactly what the Leftists want – Children utterly terrified, to grow up into terrified adults that will happily vote away gun rights.

      Fuck that noise…

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      the difference is fire drills are routine and regular….and not regarded as a real threat by most kids…but lock down drills are regarded as a real threat by most kids who are not sure it’s a drill…and an unpleasant reminder of just how vulnerable they really are…

      1. avatar Darkman says:

        They always know when it’s a drill. Just like fire drills. Everyone gets a heads up before said event. Secret drills to not exist,

        1. avatar troutbum5 says:

          Not true. A teacher friend of mine texted me a couple of days ago while she was hunkered down with her students. She didn’t know if it was a drill or the real thing; they had no warning at all.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Trauma? We grew up with duck and cover. The problem with kids these days is that they aren’t toughened up in any way. Get a trophy for just being there.

    Anybody here ever see ‘Fido”? School kids had a rifle practice as part of their class and the teacher had a rifle in class. That’s how we should be in this country.

    1. avatar Rheopectic says:

      Best Zombie Comedy EVER!

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Shaun of the Dead runs a close second. But Fido really was good.

    2. avatar Mad Max says:

      Duck and cover was probably useless as nuclear war isn’t likely survivable (unless you are deep underground and well stocked with supplies).

      A shootout is a different story as preparedness, situational awareness, and shooting skills may be able to make you a survivor.

      Of course, first you need a gat…

      Or maybe I should say that appropriately acting on the warning signs long before something happens should be the first course of action. I believe that was the conclusion of the Secret Service study.

      1. avatar Waylon says:

        Duck and cover gets a bad rap but it’s actually sound advice. While destruction from nuclear war is indeed tremendous, it’s been greatly overblown by media and left wing scientists. Even a full blown nuclear exchange will not destroy the earth or even render it uninhabitable. In fact, if you don’t live in a major metro or military base, you will likely survive the initial attack.

        Duck and cover wasn’t so silly considering schools are in the suburbs, not in the business and industrial sections of the city where the nukes would detonate.

        For reference, check out the book “Nuclear war survival skills”. Some of the info is a bit dated due to being written in the 80s, and it’s a little be too confident and trusting in government, but the data and subject material are excellent. Written at a time when nuclear war would’ve been at its worst, it explains why it’s actually quite a survivable event.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Living in a frequent tornado zone, duck-and-cover was useful (to some extent) if there was no time to gather in the school halls.

      2. avatar frank speak says:

        the trick is not letting the shooter in the building…and all efforts should be made to keep that from happening….

        1. avatar James Campbell says:

          It’s impossible to provide 100% security at a public school.
          The REAL solution is using a “matching” force level (armed teachers and LTC/CHL holders) to deter these COWARDS from even considering a school shooting.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “It’s impossible to provide 100% security at a public school.”

          Actually, it’s not impossible. Expensive and inconvenient (in many ways), but not impossible.

        3. avatar James Campbell says:

          With TSA audits showing from 70% to 90% failure rates in identification of weapons/explosive materials (gov audit results), you think a system can be put in place to make schools 100% safe.
          Even the federal prison system fails in keeping contraband from inmates, and these people don’t come and go each day.
          Humans and machines are not 100% effective, so what will this 100% school defense system be comprised of?

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…you think a system can be put in place to make schools 100% safe.”

          Yes.*

          01. surround the facility with 10′ chain link fencing
          02. cap the fence with triple lines of concertina wire
          03. plowed earth 6′ feet either side of the fencing
          04. sally port entrances through the fence
          05. pop-up steel/concrete barriers on each sally port, both ways
          06. full body and container searches of entrants
          07. metal detectors at sally ports and facility doors
          08. one-way locked doors, external side; push bar release interior side
          09. open lockers for student and staff possessions
          10. bullet resistant windows everywhere
          11. day/night digital cameras at every angle on every building (and all along the fencing)
          12. redundant back-up power sources to ensure all electronic surveillance equipment operates during adverse conditions

          For starters….

          It is more difficult to get into most NFL stadiums, solely for entertainment, than breaching the facilities (schools) where actual treasures are stored several hours each day.

          *As noted earlier, expensive and inconvenient.

        5. avatar James Campbell says:

          Don’t forget the drone “no fly” zone.
          An accomplice to the school shooter could fly a weapon into the “secured” zone at a pre-determined time/location.
          This would require 24/7 airspace monitoring, with EVERY square foot of EVERY exposed area (yards, fields, roofs), needing an inspection and sign off should a drone violate the perimeter.
          Dare to dream.
          The cost to outfit/staff/maintain/train/establish processes & procedures/audit every school would exceed the nation budget.
          The US already leads the world in education costs per student, yet ranks near the bottom (of developed countries) in ACTUALLY educating them.
          It amazes me that the discussion of improving education quality would actually DECREASE the conditions that LEAD to school shooting.

  3. avatar Thixotropic says:

    Gun Control Freaks and Public School Officials are a crazed self-promoting lot.

    NOT to be trusted with our children’s safety – BUT THEY ARE!

  4. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Are these “realistic” games played in inner city schools? If not, why not?

    Reality is there are bloody few (non-existent?) “mass school shootings” in the inner city. Could it be that those schools are hardened? Or because an active shooter knows full well everyone inside is strapped, and the shooter will probably be ended in about three seconds? Are inner-city schools majorly populated by kids who are already accustomed to the “trauma” of drive-by, gang-related shootings, thus an exercise does not add to trauma?

    I don’t know the answer, but all these “traumatic” events (exercises) seem to happen in the suburbs, among more privileged kids who live lives oblivious to reality anyway. Training is done to instill a predictable response to stimuli. “Exercises” are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of training. If the training is minimal, infrequent, and inadequate, “exercises” will always be a disaster.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      inner city schools are considerably more “hardened”…it’s the suburban schools and their “it can’t happen here” mentality that are the most vulnerable…..

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        ” inner city schools are considerably more “hardened”…it’s the suburban schools and their “it can’t happen here” mentality that are the most vulnerable…..”

        T’is a puzzlement.
        – Y. Brenner

  5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    First of all, no school should run through lockdown drills. Instead, every school should run through A.L.I.C.E. drills.

    Second of all, I see no benefit in exposing students (especially young students, perhaps grade 7 and lower) to realistic elements such as simulated bloody victims and corpses. Let the students focus on the most important A.L.I.C.E. actions which are either evacuating, fighting back, or hiding. Given that drilling how to fight back is extremely disruptive to the school day, such a drill might best be simulated and only run once a school year.

    I will say it again, the lockdown strategy is just about the worst possible strategy that any school can implement as a response to a spree killer. That being the case, schools should immediately cease lockdown drills.

    1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

      “Instead, every school should run through A.L.I.C.E. drills.”

      Much more useful than “locking down” (which originated in LA).

  6. avatar Ark says:

    It’s amazing to me that the people complaining about this being “traumatizing” are the same people who grew up with nuclear annihilation drills.

    At least bullets can miss.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “It’s amazing to me that the people complaining about this being “traumatizing” are the same people who grew up with nuclear annihilation drills.”

      We didn’t have simulated nuke blasts, noise, rubble, injuries.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      when confronted with nuclear annihilation…as we were in ’62…you tend to develop a stoic acceptance of your likely death and the sense your powerless to do anything about it…schools shootings are more random events that most will survive…they’re just terrified they’ll be among the small group that won’t…

  7. avatar Back in my day I walked to school Fifteen miles in the snow,up hill, with sammich bags duckedtaped to my ankles. says:

    The two girls in the picture would’ve been sent home; When I was in school (Late 90’s) riped jeans and showing middrift was a big no-no.
    No sweats, tank tops or skirts that came above the knee when sitting and NO Leggings!
    First time infraction with a note to parents that had to be signed by a gurdian.
    The 2nd infraction was in school suspension.
    The 3rd infraction Was 1 day suspension that had to be made up on a saturday.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Back in my day I walked to school Fifteen miles in the snow,up hill, with sammich bags duckedtaped to my ankles.”

      So did I, but the trip was uphill both ways.

      1. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

        I’m from Kentucky, so we did the trek barefoot.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I’m from Kentucky, so we did the trek barefoot.”

          You had feet? We had to use our knees and elbows, and were glad to have them.

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      I don’t know your usual post name, but my respect for you has dropped a considerable amount. It’s spelled Sandwich. S A N D W I C H.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “It’s spelled Sandwich. S A N D W I C H.”

        He was employing a tongue-in-cheek colloquialism, hooked to a tall tale.

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        You’ve never seen or heard “sammich” before, spoken as a slang version of “sandwich” to denote the bumpkin crowd?

        And I thought I was the grammar police…

        1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          I have. I hate when it’s pronounced in that form. It is worse than fingernails on a chalkboard for me. Seeing it in text form, nearly as bad.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      lax school dress codes are just a symptom…a more pressing issue is electronic devices and phones that kids bring in and are frequently permitted to use…you can admonish a kid for improper dress and they’ll sullenly comply…but try taking away their phone…or just telling them to shut it off…and watch what happens…

  8. avatar billy-bob says:

    The state must indoctrinate the young proles in how to die properly, or the progress of glorious socialism will slow.

  9. avatar Prndll says:

    My aversion to school lockdowns is that it LOCKS helpless people in with an armed lunatic killer. That is just about the single worst thing I can think of for this type of situation.

    If we could get rid of these guns free zones and stop disarming everyone, school shootings would not be nearly as bad.

    As for duck-and-cover:
    The only practical purpose would be shielding from flying or falling debris. Any nuclear blast that could harm you by NOT ducking and covering WILL be strong enough to harm you if you did. Even if you consider the initial blinding flash, who really thinks ducking under a desk would actually accomplish anything?

    1. avatar rt66paul says:

      It makes it easier to identify the person that died and keeps the ashes in place so it is easier to clean up.

    2. avatar Juice says:

      Falling debris is, of course, exactly what it was for. It’s basically the same practice as a tornado drill. Of course there’s a lot of people out there who jump straight to “lol, good luck hiding from a nuke,” as if it was intended to help shield you from vaporization.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Exactly. Buildings are not meant to withstand a shockwave. The pressure wave from a big bomb travels pretty darn far and you only need a shock of a few PSI to break windows and cut the shit out of people standing near them. A few more PSI and chunks of building come down. Duck and Cover wasn’t meant for being near ground zero, it was for the 80% of people who wouldn’t get a lethal dose of radiation and for whom the immediate threat was debris coming down on them.

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          most classrooms feature a lot of windows…but hiding in an upstairs hallway when the roof is likely to be blown off is not always the best idea either…something I pointed out to my principal…after that they sent us to the dark, dank confines of the boiler room!…..as for shooter drills, the only real defense…once entry has been compromised… are hardened classroom doors that can be securely locked from the inside…

    3. avatar Waylon says:

      Duck and cover gets made fun of because the vast majority of people have no clue how a nuclear explosion works. The vast majority of nukes don’t vaporize everything in a 25 mile radius. Hollywood yeah, or tsar bomba yeah. But most nukes are air burst and under 1 megaton.

  10. avatar strych9 says:

    This is one of those things where I think the real debate is what is age appropriate.

    Little kids don’t need to have the crap scared out of them by a drill but high schoolers are old enough, strong enough and well enough together (hopefully) that Health Class can cover Stop-The-Bleed type First Aid. It’s not for the squeamish I guess but… life’s hard I guess. (Insert Voltaire jokes here.)

    The problem with running it simply as a drill is that as the kids get older, to middle and high school, they stop taking it seriously because it’s boring and they’ve done it dozens of times. At that point I think we can start talking about a gradual upslope to more realistic training that’s applicable to a mass shooting, a regular-ol’-disaster or even a car accident.

    The blanket idea of “TRaUmA iz BaDz fWor dA chiLdeNz!” is, IMHO, silly because it makes everything seem like it’s super smooth and when chaos gets injected people have no idea how to deal with it, tension rises, people panic and panic, for the umpteenth time, kills when people’s reaction is “This isn’t what we trained for!”.

    Example: We moved into this nice new house here last month. So one evening I decided to actually check corners, angles, clearances etc with actual firearms I might realistically use in the event something bad kicked off. Twas all so smooth… until I slipped on a dog toy rounding a corner into the kitchen and hit the floor. Hard. Does that suck? Yes. Is it kinda frustrating? Yup. Is it something that could really happen while you’re carrying a loaded firearm in your house at 0300 because Methhead McFuckface came into the house and attacked your wife? Damn right it is. It’s called “realism”, the injection of actual real-world issues, problems and events into your little scenario.

    The question isn’t was I annoyed by that little fiasco. It’s not “waS Iz tRamaTiZed?!?”. The appropriate question is: “What did we learn here?” because if shit really goes South that kind of learning experience is what keeps a semi-serious fuckup from turning into a full blown disaster when the metal meets the meat.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      My first formal first aid training in which we covered splinting broken bones, applying tourniquets, improvised stretchers, etc. was in the Boy Scouts. I must have been about 12 at the time. I learned a lot of stuff in the Scouts that has proven useful time and again over my life.

      I honestly don’t know if much younger than 12 would be a good time to start such training. As a part of their normal day to day younger kids should already be trained to follow the lead of their responsible adults. Darken and secure the classroom should be on the teacher with the kids following simple instructions like ‘get under your desks and remain quiet’.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Like I said I think the question is what’s age appropriate.

        At 16 I was training to rescue people from underwater emergencies at 120 feet and shortly after that, while still 16, was employed as the designated safety/rescue diver on a boat taking dipshit tourists on recreational dives.

        You wanna see a middle aged year old lawyer get pissed? Tell him that in an emergency a 16 year old has absolute authority over the dive boat that said lawyer is on as well as absolute in-water authority and isn’t afraid to physically take control of an “adult” if the situation warrants it. The look on his face is something you can’t buy with a Mastercard.

  11. avatar . says:

    Facebook Twitter Big Brother to the web. The whole shitteree has been compromised. Everything you said and every facial expressions will be used against you.

  12. avatar Shire-man says:

    They should create realistic simulations for fire drills. Chase the kids through the halls with flamethrowers. If realistic simulation is really that valuable.

    At the very least ceasing the full simulated shooter scenario would take away some of the fuel from the “’twas a false flaaaag!!!” crowd.

    Torturing children to engineer a generation of hoplophobes is no good for anyone.

  13. avatar guy says:

    These drills seem kinda stupid. Why not windows big enough to get out of and roll out ladders for upper levels. Steel doors for classrooms so you can lock them behind you as you climb out. Seems to me like these drills just show the fish where the barrels are and how to flop into them.

  14. avatar Texican says:

    We’re letting other side determine the needs of our society. Every comment shows the futility of lock down drills in lack of effectiveness and in the damage it does to our children’s psyche. Home schooling your children and grandchildren is the answer. I’ve used public, private and home school for my children who are grown now. Knowing what I know now I would have never let them go to public school. And even more so in this time. They’ll be safer and they won’t grow up full of fear and they’ll be more self-sufficient. Any family can do it. You just have to decide to and manage the details.

  15. avatar Kendahl says:

    Lockdown drills are traumatizing kids? Only if the adults are overreacting. We used to have fire alarm drills in elementary school. They were a welcome diversion from schoolwork. Some schools had slides to evacuate the second floor. They must have been real fun.

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    It’s useful for first responders to have as realistic training as possible. In my case that included screaming teens (well, 18-19) with fake blood, etc etc. For police this is important to train how to clear the building and find the shooter ASAP; for medical personnel, it’s important for triage.

    I see no advantage in this sort of high-intensity training for students. Especially presuming that it’s going to be a rare thing (because there are more important things at school). I doubt it’s that effective for teachers, either, although maybe something slightly less rigorous would be useful.

    Here’s the thing- if there’s a school shooter, what do we have teachers and students doing? It’s not like a fire drill where you get in lines and leave the building. It’s generally involving shelter in place and try to lock the doors. You can do that ‘training’ without freaking everyone out over an extremely remote possibility.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Well said and I totally agree

  17. avatar Red in CO says:

    Huh, it’s almost like the purpose of such drills is to keep everyone aware and afraid of an astronomically unlikely event and to convince them it’s a much greater threat than it is. After all it’s far easier to manipulate a fearful individual than a logical one

  18. avatar James E Ray says:

    I think teachers and staff should definitely be trained for these scenarios. They will be who children will look to at these times. As far as drilling the kids, I’m concerned about scaring them and also tipping our hand to would be assailants. Most of these shootings are done by fellow students.

  19. avatar DeclanChambers says:

    That’s crazy

  20. avatar 12HoursEssay says:

    Exercises or drills, either way they form the only moment when a principal has a clear ceremony of their omnipotence. For this reason, they’re not going away, and won’t until school leadership is taken away from an individual and handed to groups. Universities don’t have them purely because the Chancellor would face real consequences from professors and students who need to get work done.

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