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Lockdown Drills Important to Ensure Student Safety


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   According to Everytown For Gun Safety, a web record of all school shootings since 2013, there were 21 US school shootings in 2018 alone (everytownresearch.org). School shootings are a very real possibility for any school, and having safety drills is something extremely important. As a result, UC High’s administration should be commended for updating our lockdown procedures and taking precautions to ensure students’ safety in the wake of the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting.

   In recent weeks, Vice Principal Jo McGlin has updated the UC High Lockdown Procedures as well as the Shelter in Place Procedures. Considering it has been fewer than six weeks since the Parkland shooting, this update comes extremely quickly. The efficient action of UC High’s administration truly shows they are not willing to wait around and they are dedicated to keeping students safe.

   Recently, UC High staff were briefed on new procedures, and the school organized a new lockdown drill. Several weeks before the drill, Senior Jodie Nelson stated, “I don’t feel prepared at all if something were to happen, and I don’t even really remember what were supposed to do in lockdown drills. In reality, kids would be freaking out, and it’d be really hard to keep them calm in that kind of situation.” Previously, lockdown drills were few and far between, making it easy for students to forget what they are supposed to do. Now, however, because the procedures were reviewed with teachers and a drill has been practiced, students are more prepared in case the worst happens.

   In fact, the practice of lockdown drills may have been instrumental in saving lives during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. The tragedy occurred soon after that school’s most recent lockdown drill; the previous drill had only been a few weeks prior, right after the end of winter break (nbcnews.com). If procedures hadn’t been fresh in the students’ minds, more lives may have been lost.

   We all hope that UC High will never suffer a school shooting, but reviewing lockdown procedures is important regardless of the danger of the situation. According to an online magazine about campus safety, out of the first 160 gun incidents in US schools since 2015, 12 of them were unintentional (campussafetymagazine.com). Also, not every lockdown has to do with a shooter. According to a Texas school district, nearby criminal activity could call for a lockdown for fear of the perpetrator entering campus, or there could be an airborne hazard such as a chemical spill where air is safer to breathe inside the building for the time being, or a lock down could even occur for a “little” problem in a building that isn’t any real threat to students or staff, but it would be best if no one left their rooms for that time period (tmisd.us). For any one of these situations, it’s nice to know what to do, where to go, and what to listen for, even if situations don’t go “as planned.”

   We, the editors of the UC High Commander, aren’t afraid to attend school and hope we will never have to be. But, as Murphy’s Law states, “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” So, it’s important to keep running drills in order to educate students and staff on procedures that could save lives. As students of UC High, we would like to thank our teachers and administration for moving quickly, taking action, and initiating drills to ensure that we all remain safe.

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Lockdown Drills Important to Ensure Student Safety