When I was in high school, we had bomb threats. We would hear an alarm and head outside to a distance that didn't seem very far away from the school, and wait. Some of the teachers would still try to teach; others would sit in the grass with the rest of us and remind students to not wander off. There was no chaos to run out of the building; there was no sense of fear.
In my memory, we never had a bomb threat in the rain or when it was blisteringly cold outside. They usually took place in the Spring and during exams weeks. The school followed the proper procedures to keep students safe, but we students were not impressed.
Thankfully, a bomb threat was never taken to the next step. And it became normal to have bomb threat drills just as we had fire drills and the one tornado drill we would do a year.
When my son started school a few years ago, he told me about his first fire drill and his first tornado drill. And then he told me about his first active-shooter drill.
My heart broke.
He called it a lockdown drill and described how the classroom went dark and silent. He talked about how the teacher praised them for doing such a great job. Over the years, he has mentioned a few more of them with the same results: They did a good job of hiding from any bad people who might enter the school to hurt students.
While I am glad that the school has my son's safety in mind, I do wonder about the effects of these drills on students. I didn't really feel that safe after a drill...does he? There is a growing worry that lockdown drills are being done with such a wide variety of addition... talk that they are making our children more scared.
I don't want my son to be unprepared or overly scared. So, we talk. We talk after the drills so I can make sure that he understands why the school has those drills, and how precious he is to me. We talk about how he should take them seriously, but not worry about them in his everyday life.
That's a tall order for a kid these days.
Do you talk with your children about lockdown drills to ensure they understand them? Tell me about it in the comments.