In wake of shootings, schools practicing lockdowns
When I was a freshman in high school in Louisville, Kentucky, one strange sunny day we were all shoved into classrooms where the doors were locked. We were told to remain silent. It was only then the rumors started flying. Someone had a gun. Someone had shot a bunch of people, and was on the loose downtown, where my high school was located. He could come after us.
It turned out to be true, at least part of it. Someone had brought a gun into a nearby place of business and shot several people, then himself. At least five people were killed, including the gunman, who turned out to have been a disgruntled employee. But, that aside, we were safe and out of harm's way. Oddly, even though this kind of event was unusual for the times and my hometown, my high school was prepared.
Today, where it seems, sadly, that we're reading daily about these kinds of shootings, many of them involving youth, many schools are taking great steps to protect their students from harm. It seems we've accepted these gunmen as part of our culture and our lives. We're not happy about it, though, but we are smart. Fire drills have been replaced with lockdowns. A lockdown involves basically what I went through as a freshman: being shoved into a room, where the door is locked, and remaining quiet. This is a must in order to survive a real attack.
It almost reminds me of the nuclear bomb drills people went through in the fifties and sixties. I don't know how real the threat of being bombed really was, or what the chances of survival were if one followed the prescribed procedure of the time and hid under the stairs or a desk or whatever, but it somehow seems a lot less real to me than hiding from a classmate with a weapon he or she fully intends to use on anyone, and I mean anyone, in his or her path of destruction.
Perhaps I feel this way because of what I went through as a youngster. Perhaps the threat isn't as real as I perceive it to be, but I think it is. And I think others feel the same way. Frankly, I'd rather look silly in the history books and stay alive than not worry about it and come face to face with a parent's worst nightmare.
Does your school have a lockdown plan or policy in place? If so (or not) how do you feel about it?
Gun pic by code poet.
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