In light of recent school shootings, I have been thinking a lot about what our school actually does to protect us from such a tragedy. Lockdown drills are the main thing I could come up with, but upon taking a closer look at the logic behind them, I really don’t think they can save us like how we’re supposed to believe.
To start, no one takes lockdown drills seriously. For most, it is just a way to burn class time. And admittedly, what reason do we all have to take it seriously? Sure, it could save us from potential danger, but doesn’t our constant talking and laughing during the drill negate all positives? The one moment everyone actually gets quiet is when they hear officials in the hallway. Besides that, the most important thing on our peers’ minds are to chat and sit with friends.I know that if we were in a real lockdown situation that most would not remember to even act by this set protocol. At that point we panic, and all other structure goes out the door.
Taking a step back from what the lockdown drill protocol has taught us to believe, if the door is locked and the shutter is down, wouldn’t the shooter assume people are in that classroom? The shooter would know that the school is in lockdown and that only empty classrooms will be open and able to be seen through. Logically, I don’t know how much the two most fundamental parts of the drill would help. Any person who knows what they are doing would be able to recognize what teachers are trying to do to protect their students. Not to mention that the person doing the shooting often does know what they are doing. We have all heard the stories about the school shooters being the students themselves. A student is the first person who would know the safety measures after all those years of lockdown drills. Nothing hides the system from us. A student could easily identify which classrooms are occupied and where the students would be in those classrooms. If the student is able to compromise those “safety measures,” what’s next? What are we supposed to do?
Every lockdown drill we are reminded that no one is to be let into the classroom. That makes sense to me. You can’t risk 20+ lives just for one. It sound cruel, however it is a matter of the greater good and how the most lives can be saved. It’s easy for me to think that when I step out of reality. In reality, I don’t know if I would be able to leave the door closed for a student who needs to be let in. What if that person was my friend? Beyond that, would I be willing to actually make the decision about someone’s life and death. No one deserves that kind of power. And after considering that the person outside the door could very well be the shooter, can that chance even be taken? How can our teachers, who are humans just like everyone else, be allowed to make these kinds of decisions? It is not fair to any party involved.
I don’t know what the “foolproof” way to protect us is, and after thinking more about lockdown drills, I am starting to think that there is no way that we can ever be safe from shootings. You would think that there must be something we could individually do, like taking lockdowns more seriously, but would that stop a person with a gun if it came to that? The reality is that shootings are happening and whatever protections we have in place, from the most fundamental school drills to our nation’s weak gun laws, are not enough.