Locking Down Lockdown Skills

Chase Kaplan Everyone knows what you’re supposed to do during a lockdown drill. As students, we are accustomed to these drills and, for the most part, we know what actions to take. Or at least we like to think we do. But what happens when that weirdly apocalyptic alarm goes off and the teacher is out of the room? On a seemingly average Thursday in December, everyone settled in for their last class before they went home for the day. Little did the students know, an unannounced alarm would soon send them into a panic. The students’ actions in this one particular class give us all reason to question how well our community is actually prepared for a lockdown drill. Without the teacher present to guide them, the students all acted impulsively. Their instincts took over, and they displayed just about every emotion that a teenager could possibly have.  For example: “DIP!!”— The minute the alarm rang, before anyone could say, “Well, what do we do now?” this student bolted from the room, leaving her classmates to wonder where she went. This student is a prime example of the fight or flight response, except in this case, flight could pose the risk of an encounter with a dangerous intruder. Sometimes, it’s better to go against your instincts. “Don’t worry, I got this.”— Upon hearing the alarm, these few students assumed unappointed roles of leadership and advised everyone to hide under their desks because it’s “what you’re supposed to do.” These desks, however, were in plain sight through the window into the classroom. This controlling instinct serves as a good reminder that no matter how sure of something someone is, they can still be wrong. *Flips table*–– This student snapped when the alarm went off. Although I’m sure (hopefully) that this student knows what they did is NOT protocol, the fact that this happened is still semi-concerning. This student, amidst their yelling, flipped over two large tables, three chairs, and several backpacks and propped them all against the door. Although that may seem like a decent strategy, the classroom door opened out, which meant that the makeshift barricade would do absolutely nothing except attract attention and create a fire hazard. “Do it again, I wasn’t filming.”— When this student’s classmates all fell into chaos and panic, they grabbed their phone and began to stock up on videos for a funny snapchat story. I guess this student had no fear of the danger his classmates seemed to think they were in, or maybe they just had a strange way of handling fear. Either way, their story ended up being pretty funny. “Whatever…”— To this student, the alarm meant practically nothing. Amidst the commotion, he simply walked to the corner, plugged in some headphones, and chilled until it was all over. Ironically, this student was the only one to correctly follow lockdown protocol. Despite these students’ varied panicked reactions, it was just a drill. Had an intruder actually entered the building, however, a scary result could have easily been a reality. Even with a teacher around, we forget the serious nature of these alarms— whether we go on our phones or take a quick power nap, we ignore that the drills are serving a real potentially life-saving purpose. With a new semester rolling around, it’s time to seriously reconsider our actions during these drills, so should we ever find ourselves on real lockdown, we know and, more importantly, follow protocol. ]]>