School Lockdown Drill ~ The Girls
From a teacher perspective I can tell you that our eyes are always on the kids that are not doing as well academically, socially or emotionally. We are under constant pressure to make sure that 100% of students are getting 100% of our time to reach 100% of goals that are set FOR them...not BY them. As you can probably guess, that is not realistic and so it is inevitable that some students will fall through the cracks. Not for lack of care or trying. Simply as a mathematical probability. Contrary to popular belief, teachers actually DO care about ALL of their students. We worry about the kids that push us away. We worry about the homes that hide dangers from the school, but not from their kids. We worry about the kids that show signs of depression, sociopath or psychopathic tendencies, low self esteem and those that are clearly neglected. We are often told behind closed doors to focus on the ones that we think we can save. Sorry folks...but the bureaucracy of schools are not concerned with everyone's child. Teachers ARE...and the true reason that teachers QUIT is for that reason. Every teacher has a story about a kid or many kids that have been let down by the school system. Where teachers try to fight for these kids and we are told to "FOCUS ON THE CURRICULUM! YOU ARE NOT A COUNSELOR!" Let that sink in. So some of these students grow up and do horrible things. Now, don't get it twisted, we are not blaming the schools for the outcome of these horrible actions. NO! Individuals are responsible for themselves. However, if we all used our situational awareness and noticed these children at a young age and then acknowledge them and provide help...maybe we could bring down the increasing number of events that are taking place.
As a teacher our training to handle a school shooting looks something like this: there will be an announcement on the loud speaker, lock your doors and cover your windows and we will announce an all clear when its over. NO...during real school shootings there is no time for an announcement. Teachers and students have said they thought the shots were "...fireworks going off in the building..."! When in the hell have fireworks ever gone off in a school building??? Is that normal somewhere? You practiced a "lockdown drill" in school right? Well, that is almost all the training our schools have ever given to teachers as well. Now how safe do you feel? In an FBI study, 69% of active shooter events in a school end in 5 minutes or less. While every teacher should want to protect their students. They are not given the tools to do so. Not mentally or physically. I want you to learn to protect yourself and to act quickly. The clock is ticking. There is no time to second guess your gut. It is better to be wrong and alive...PERIOD! Can you imagine the stress as a teacher, responsible for all those lives each day with no training. You are responsible for your own life. Work WITH your fellow classmates and the teachers to take action. What do I see in students? What makes me worry? A student that seems to be off to themselves a lot or hangs out with a small group of students that are also antisocial. Maybe a student that is often trying to push the boundaries a bit with slightly off comments or pictures. Students that make statements to get a rise out of people like "I'm most comfortable when you are uncomfortable." Students that are in the school but don't seem to want to be there. BUT THE BIGGEST WORRY I HAVE AS A TEACHER...is when every other student knows that another student is on the edge and about to cause harm to others and they don't tell anyone about it. Students know students! You see the things that teachers do not see. You see the drug deals, the crying in the halls, the bullying, the shaming, the cheating, the kids being abused at home, the fights, the social media wars and the kids who have given warning about doing violence. Even when your gut tells you...something bad is going to happen with that person...most students say nothing. It is time to stop the cycle. Teachers are told by administrators to ignore it and worry about curriculum and students are afraid to speak up because they know no one is going to help. ENOUGH! We need new procedures! NOW. Because your lives are on the line. Waiting for someone to tell you what to do is going to make you a victim. Things are going to happen too fast and you need to be prepared to take action. This is the new reality. Accept it. So now you are free to act. You are going to have to solve the problem. You have three immediate options: hide, run or fight. The lockdown model only covers the first...to hide. We want to deny access for the shooter to get to anyone. This is better than doing nothing. As a student you can take action, lock the door, cover the window, get out of sight and look for objects in the room to use as a weapon if necessary. However, if there is a chance that you can run and get away, do it. Under the doctrine of necessity, even breaking a window is acceptable. Leave the school, find help. The final option of fighting is not to be taken lightly. Remember, you are up against a killer who will fight to win. So if you choose to fight, you are fighting for your life and the lives of others. You will have to be lethal to stop the threat. If you have a group of people to outnumber the attacker, your odds are better. Safety in numbers is a good rule to follow. My point is, trust yourself to make the call when your life is on the line. We aware of people that are making random threats. Don't wait for someone to tell you what to do in an active shooter situation. You simply reading this post and being through lockdown drills as a student makes you better trained than most school faculty. Take that to heart. Keep reading and BE AWARE.