When The New Normal In Schools Includes Lockdowns

“Mom, I did just what you said to do during our drill. I was quiet as a mouse.”

Her voice came over the PA system loud and commanding. “This is a lockdown, please follow all necessary procedures.” Immediately every door was shut and locked, lights turned off, and the window shades were pulled down. We sat in darkness. The laughter and chatter that usually fills the hallway disappeared in a split second. Everything was dead silent, and we waited for the voice to return, telling us that it was only a drill.

Since the Sandy Hook massacre, there have been 231 school shootings. As a social worker/clinician practicing in a large school building, we are regularly confronted with the possibility of violence making its way to our campus. The increase in shootings has dramatically changed how schools handle safety procedures. Gone are the days of simple fire drills, now most institutions routinely practice lockdowns and active shooter simulations.

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