Should Hudson Valley Schools Stop Making Kids Do Lockdown Drills?
Are the lockdown drills your children are being forced to participate in at school doing more harm than good?
That's the question educators are now grappling with as statistics now show that these intense and emotional drills really do nothing to keep our kids safer. A quiet wave of opposition to lockdown drills has been building over the past month, with numerous experts weighing in on their detrimental effect on children.
The NY Post points out that although school shootings have become more prevalent in our country, they are far from an "epidemic." Schools are still extremely safe. In fact, the chances of a child being the victim of a school shooting in America is 1 in 614,000,000. In contrast, your child has a 1 in 700,000 chance of being struck by lightning. I think the fact that we don't terrorize children by making them practice lightning strike preparedness, but force children to hide in school bathrooms in complete silence several times a year is something worth questioning.
My son is in second grade and has participated in several lockdown drills this year. To his school's credit, the teachers have done an excellent job of conducting these drills with the least amount of fear as possible, but It's clear that they have still had a profound effect on him. Imagine hearing a warning over the loudspeaker and being forced to crouch next to a toilet with other children and stand in complete silence. And for what? These drills can never prepare children for the sounds of gunfire down their hallway or an attacker bursting into their room, so why put them through this terror?
Experts claim that these drills are nothing more than theater designed to make parents feel like their school is taking safety seriously. Much like the old "Duck and Cover" drills of the atomic age, children are not any safer because of practicing for the unpredictable. Just as it was unlikely that hiding under a desk would protect kids from nuclear annihilation, it's equally unlikely that practicing being quiet would save kids from being randomly attacked by a gunman.
Professional security consultants have suggested that training should be limited to teachers and staff. Having them know what to do in the event of an attack is important, but including children in that training really isn't necessary. Explaining this to parents, who are bombarded with news about school shootings is the hard part. Parents are fearful, and convincing them that it's pointless to prepa for these unlikely events is an uphill climb.
We'd love to know what you think about school lockdown drills. Do you think they serve a purpose or are they unnecessarily terrorizing children? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.
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