Being a kid tornado, fire, and even earthquake drills were a common occurrence. Today’s children are practicing Active Shooter Drills, but this isnt a new thing by any means.
Any adult that attended high school in the 90’s, especially the year 1999 remembers April 20th; the day of the Columbine shooting spree. Almost instantly schools across the nation received bomb threats, shooting threats, etc. The superintendent of my school district at the time said if he closed down the school every day they had received a threat we would not be returning for another year.
And so the drills began. If like me you are old enough to remember, the first few ideas to combat such an occurrence were beyond idiotic. The first drill we were told specifically we were not to head to the cars because of the possibility a bomb was placed on one. We were to make our way in an orderly fashion to the bleachers on the football field were, of course, we would be nice targets for any rifle in a wide open area. Upon hearing this my mother told me to grab my sister and get to my car, she would deal with the school.
The second attempt to organize a drill remained roughly the same; no cars but instead of the football field we were to make our way to the auditorium which was located in the center of the school. Theoretically, we could be locked into the auditorium protecting us until police arrived. The issue with this is that all of the doors to the auditorium are easily covered from a single vantage point making us easy targets as we funneled in. My mother’s instructions dod not change.
Today’s drills have taken a much more appropriate approach; stay put and lock the classroom doors. But by teaching our children how to respond in an active shooting are we protecting them or scaring them? I have included two articles: one on the likelihood of your child actually being in a school shooting and a second discussing the debate about having such drills.