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Here's The Drill: Inside A School Lockdown

Youth Radio

As recently as a year ago, schools across the country, including the middle school in San Francisco where I used to teach, were toning down security. But since the school shooting in Newtown, school districts across the San Francisco Bay Area are ramping up safety measures. Back in 2008, I never did lockdown drills with my eighth grade students, but now lockdowns are becoming standard across the region.

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  • Liz Dwyer

    "Gelormino's tone of voice becomes serious as she focuses on one chatty student. 'I don’t want to scare you, but Willie, if someone was trying to harm us, and you were making that much sound, guess where they would go first? Here. So right now you weren’t helping us to be safe,' she says."

    No child, excited for their first day of school, tells their parents, "I can't wait for my first lockdown drill!" And folks dream about becoming teachers so they can instill in kids a love of reading, not so they can have conversations with them about how to avoid getting killed, but that's what educators have to do. I've been there and I hated having to tell my students to lie down flat on the classroom floor and not make a sound, even if the dust made them want to sneeze. But unless we make some different choices in this nation, we'll have to hear more of these heartbreaking stories.