OPINION: Why we do lockdowns

Rachel Reichard, EMC Staff Writer

Lockdown drills are defined as practicing preparedness in the event of an intruder or criminal act. We commonly associate them with Mr. Healey’s voice coming on the loudspeaker at school saying “Lockdown lockdown, this is a lockdown.”. Then the teacher shuts off the lights, pulls the blinds, locks the doors, and we huddle together for several agonizing minutes in a location hidden from windows and door. Galway recently had a lockdown drill and it was as I sat in Mrs. McDonald’s room in the dark 7th period that I noticed something was wrong. As I looked around at my classmates, I saw kids with their phones out taking selfies for Snapchat and heard others whispering from the corner and trying to stifle giggles. When I got home that afternoon I saw Snapchat stories that joked about the lockdown and the various things kids were doing between the time Mr. Healey said “Lockdown lockdown, this is a lockdown.” and “This is the end of the lockdown. You may return to your normal activities.”

Do not get mad at me if I glare and tell you to be quiet during the lockdown, that is your one job. I encourage students to truly understand why schools carry out lockdown drills. They are not for fun, like the definition says, they’re meant to practice preparedness in the event of an intruder or criminal act. While today may only be a lockdown drill, who knows, it could one day be so much bigger than a drill and involve the loss of lives. We all watch the news and watch in horror as the headlines show yet another unfortunate school shooting and we witness the pictures and live reports on national news stations. Some students are old enough to remember the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings and staff can remember the Columbine massacre. Neither of these schools could have understood the attack they’d withstand but something like a lockdown drill we take for granted could save lives in horrible situations such as these. Take these drills seriously. Listen to your teacher, and people like me shouldn’t have to tell you to be quiet. That should be your number one priority.