The effectiveness of safety drills reviewed

Common Sense Editorial

Safety drills are practiced by our community all year long. Who knows what would really happen if these drills turned into reality?

Ten times per year the school is evacuated during fire drills. All students are expected to walk in a single file line to the door closest to them leading outside. After this, students rally with their class and the teacher counts out all students to make sure every student is accounted for.

Another drill that is practiced is a lockdown drill in which students are required to stay silent and remain in their classrooms. The newest drill that we have only gone over once so far is the active assailant drill. This drill goes over a ‘lockdown with options’ in which students are instructed to make the right decision in order to protect themselves, whether this includes running out of the school, hiding in a classroom, or acting in self defense.

Students have doubts about the effectiveness of these drills. “I think the drills are all pointless, what really happens in those situations comes down to common sense,” senior Trey Wilson said.

If a fire were to occur in the building, most students would make the choice to not walk slowly in a single file line to exit the building. Instead, running wild and pushing one another to get out of the school would most likely take place. “If a real fire took place in the building and it was out of control, threatening my safety, I would not be calmly walking out of school and instead would be sprinting to the nearest exit,” senior Alex Cohen said.

A drill that may actually help us in an emergency situation could be a lockdown in place drill. The reason for this is the simplicity of the drill and all that is required is for students to remain in their classroom silently. In the event of an emergency where students could not leave their classrooms safely, students would use their common sense and stay in their classrooms and listen to their teacher for further instruction. “The only drill that I truly think people would follow in an emergency would be a lockdown drill as it is usually the best option to stay safe in one of those situations,” junior Brooke Simon said.

The new protocol in case an active assailant is in the building is actually quite a smart idea. It is impossible to assume that if this were to occur, all students would just hide in classrooms silently with a lockdown in place drill. If this situation took place, students would get to choose to do whatever they think is the best option for their safety and the safety of those around them. “I liked the new active assailant drill because it gives students the choice of how to respond to a threat in our school,” sophomore Molly Burns said.

5 of 9 editorial board members agree