Why School Lockdown Drills Must Also Involve Preparing The Parents

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald September 19, 12:10 am
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Schools across America are making lockdown drills as common as fire drills. However, as this becomes a requirement to prepare the students in case of attacks, shouldn't parents also be involved in the drills?

According to the Washington Post, parents should be oriented about these lockdown drills, along with the students and teachers, so that they can also discuss and process this better with their children. Even as the school lockdown drills are efficient, the safety plan might become lost on the parents, when this can be a highly-charged emotional situation. Parents should be included in the training to deliver the most appropriate response to such an emergency.

"That [preparation of the parents] piece seems so simple, but that was something that really fell apart for our [Sandy Hook] school community," said Michele Gay, who lost a child in Sandy Cook in the December 2012 school shooting.

Just this September, a lockdown instituted at a high school in Memphis after a police chase with a suspect caused panic among parents, WREG reports. It took hours for the school to finally give parents an assurance that the incident has been controlled. But while the adults are thankful the school informed them of the situation, some hoped they weren't left in the dark for hours.

Since the rise in shooting incidents, school districts in New York have mandated lockdown drills for students, where at least four drills must be done within this school year. John Gammon of the Livonia High School Assistant Principal/Safety Coordinator stated (via 13 WHAM), doing just one lockdown drill in a year won't cut it. "We find some glitch an area in the building that we can be more secure."

During school lockdown drills, the students are taught about how they can protect each other in case of an intruder attack or a shooting incident. Although the hope is that the lockdown drills won't have to be executed, preparing the students is necessary and helpful.

"We'd be naive to think an incident -- when we see Columbine, when we see Sandy Hook -- couldn't happen here in our community," said Lt. Patrick Fitzgerald of the Orchard Park police, via Buffalo News

The year isn't over yet, but there have already been 136 mass shootings from Jan. to June 2016, per CNN. Many of these happened in schools and universities.

Parents, what's your take on school lockdown drills? Would you be pushing to have parents join in the training as well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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