I got an email from my girls’ school last week. It basically said that the Intruder Lockdown drill the school had done with the students went very well. Then it further informed me that they would let us know how next month’s lockdown drill went.

I have some conflicting feelings, most of them summed up pretty well here, “Are Lockdown Drills Necessary?”.

Due to the Sandy Hook tragedy last December, my children’s school has implemented some extra security measures this year. And I’m fine with that. I’m not even necessarily against security drills per se. Sure, teach the kids what to do in an emergency. More importantly, teach the teachers and administrators how to calmly direct kids, and keep them safe without freaking them out.

But once a month? I talked to one father whose school does them once a week.

That seems like overkill. It’s what Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids calls worst-first thinking. We take the worst case scenario, and prepare for that.

Again, I understand drills, and being prepared. We had fire drills at school — maybe twice a year. What I don’t understand is the frequency of these lockdown drills and inculcating children to the fact that a gunman is going to break into their school. Random school shootings are incredibly, incredibly rare (and horrifically tragic). The messages I want my kids to receive are that school is a safe place, and that the adults around are ready to deal with emergencies.

The latter shouldn’t take monthly drills, in my opinion.


When I talked to my girls about this, they were very matter-of-fact, so I’m grateful. According to Flora, her teacher has a big, red bucket full of snacks. “And toilet paper,” she added.

Toilet paper?

“Sure. And if someone has to go to bathroom, they have to use the bucket.” She thought for a minute. “I guess we’d have to dump the snacks out first.”

I guess!

Does your kid’s school (or kids’ schools) do lockdowns? How do you feel about that?

3 thoughts on “Lockdown

  1. Our school does monthly fire drills, and twice yearly each for tornado and lockdown. Growing up in California, we had earthquake drills (maybe twice yearly as well? Memory is fuzzy there.) I think some practice is good–the fact that they had done drills at Sandy Hook certainly saved a lot of lives, but it takes away a ton of instruction time. By the time we do the drill, are “released” by the police dept coming door-to-door and settle back in afterward with all the “what-if” questions, it’s easily the better part of an hour gone.

  2. AGREE. Once a month seems like too much… like you said, making it seem like they are preparing for a rare and horrific situation that is *likely* to happen. Why instill that fear? I think Oliver’s school does it twice a year, which seems enough to me. (They also have a police officer there at all times. I’m okay with that versus arming all the teachers/staff, God forbid.)

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